Letter: No place in Vail for dirty attacks on candidates
Driving through the West Vail roundabout, I did a quick doubletake at one of the Vail Town Council signs. To my surprise, somebody had placed professionally-made signs encouraging people to “Vote No to Karen Perez” next to each of her campaign ads. As I continued about my day, I had trouble shaking this seemingly inconsequential part of my morning.
I grew up in Vail. Despite the constant flow of tourists, Vail has always felt like a close-knit and friendly community. It is almost a guarantee that a trip to the grocery store will involve at least one quick chat or hello with fellow locals. There has always been small-town drama, but at least from my perspective, people could prioritize civility and respect of our town culture over whatever had their panties in a twist that week.
Upon seeing the negative signs next to those of Karen Perez, I was struck with the hateful message being sent. Not only does it seem that there are significant racial implications of singling out the only candidate with a Hispanic surname, but there is a bigger overarching message. Vail is going dirty. Campaigns formerly focused on candidates smiling and waving in the roundabouts are being replaced by negative messages with no ownership. It seems that the shift in culture across our nation has finally reached my happy Vail bubble.
Rather than discussing whatever issues they might have with Karen at a forum or in an appropriate context, what seems to be an organized group of individuals has decided to spew hate behind the safe curtain of anonymity.
I don’t know who is responsible for the ads or why they did it, but I do know that they do not represent the Vail that I know. They are mistaken in the idea that their beliefs are relevant to those of socially conscious Vail locals. In a time of national turmoil, no matter where you stand in politics or social issues, it is imperative to not sink to the level of hateful rhetoric.
I hope that Karen Perez knows that this is not my Vail. I sincerely hope that others can relate to my view and take action by showing up to the polls. Show Karen and the other candidates that we will not fall prey to the childish actions of a cowardly few. We, as the majority, respect the integrity of our community.