Welcome to Royal Oak, a city that in a few months I hope will be one that looks out for all its residents and guests.
My name is Judith Rontal. I am an intern with the One Royal Oak Campaign, although my official title is Deputy Campaign Manager (without the Sheriff badge). I got involved with this campaign in its first weeks and since then, have seen it grow from a 50-liked Facebook page to a freshly created website (designed by yours truly and Barb). In the month or so I’ve been involved I’ve learned about Royal Oak and more about the state I call home. Let me tell you about myself…
I grew up in Ann Arbor and am going to be a senior in the fall at the University of Michigan. In a year I hope to have a degree in International Studies, Anthropology, and Italian. Aside from my one year studying in Boston and 4 months in Italy, I’ve spent my life in Ann Arbor. Therein lies my biggest reason for getting involved with this campaign: Ann Arbor is such a welcoming and open community that is prevents me from witnessing the discrimination that plagues much of the state of Michigan (Ann Arbor does face discrimination, but it has measures like the HRO to protect its citizens).
I grew up hearing about the rest of Michigan, how my city was special, and how lucky I was to be living there. That bothered me – why should I be lucky? The protections I receive by being a resident in Ann Arbor should be available to everybody, but they are NOT.
- I want to be lucky for living 10 minutes away from the Art Fair, for going to school so close to home that my parents can do my grocery shopping if I’m too “busy,” and for living in a vibrant youthful city full of 20-somethings because of UM.
- I don’t want to be lucky for walking downtown at 2 am with friends and feeling safe, for seeing every type of couple holding hands, or for being proud of how accepting my city is.
My city shouldn’t be an example to follow because there shouldn’t be the need for one. What is seen as an example is what I believe should be an expectation. In order for my expectations to be met, Royal Oak must adopt this HRO and have the interest of all its residents at its heart. Royal Oak = its community, the community that must vote in November to look out for one another. I promise to work my hardest in the months of my internship to meet my expectations and make Royal Oak the city I believe it deserves to be. I am very excited to be involved with this campaign as it not only makes me take a look at my core beliefs, but it also puts to use and challenges the skills I’ve worked so hard at school to build.
Let’s bring fairness and equality to Royal Oak!