For the past few days, I’ve contacted all the speakers on their permission to use their recorded speeches during last week’s amendment debate. Everyone who responded generally gave me their permissions. I must thank their kind considerations in this matter – this means a lot to me.  The speakers who responded include neighbors from both sides of the debate. I fully understand that I should have contacted them before posting their recorded audios. This I recognize a mistake – albeit an honest one, on my part.

I must also recognize Lourene Miovski and her husband Tom Bannister for their time and energies in the introduction of the amendment. Though their proposed amendment did not pass, they deserve credit for generating a vibrant debate at the NCPCA. 

In case you did not know, Lourene and Tom are my very close neighbors; we all live on 53rd Avenue. I think they both spoke eloquently in support of their amendment in last Thursday’s amendment debate.

I’d also like to thank those who decided to take the other side of the amendment. They include Mark, Bill, Mohammed, Nuyeed and Adil. I think they all tried their best to launch strong arguments to make their cases against the amendment. I specially thank Mark for the time he took to come to the meeting and speak, despite his health situation – something that caused him to take a break recently from the VP position.

Though we had some emotional exchanges of words for and against the amendment in the meeting, both sides agreed on a common goal – NCPCA must be a platform standing for non-discrimination and freedom of speech. Their differences in opinion were not on the stated principles of the amendment, but rather it was on the enforcement of those principles. I personally don’t think the difference in opinions that the members expressed was a sign of division in the community, it was rather an expression of democratic voices among the members.

Though I’ve received permissions from almost all of the speakers to use their recorded voices on this blog, I think given the emotional atmosphere surrounding the debate, it’d be prudent to put off publishing them right now. As I said earlier, my original idea for publishing the audio was to help members who could not be present in the meeting. However, I did not realize the publication would generate such a strong expressive trade of words among the members.  The last thing I want to do is to have something that goes beyond democratic debate – and can potentially cause more hard feelings and divisions among our neighbors.