Thank you for your email yesterday about efforts to add decorations and plantings to our neighborhood on August 16. I understand that this effort is being undertaken together with Spruce Up MSP, a group that wants to tidy up our city to welcome the arrival of the Republican National Committee's convention in September. I am grateful for your efforts to make our neighborhood a better, more attractive place. It is a goal I share.
I must, however, respectfully decline your invitation to participate to welcome our RNC guests. Planting flowers in front of or painting houses that are vacant as a result of the mortgage crisis that enriched unscrupulous mortgage lenders (and GOP donors) at the hands of homeowners and the cities where they live is an irony I cannot stomach. Pretending that my neighbors are affluent enough to afford landscaping and patriotic bunting when they struggle economically is a charade I can't be part of. Disguising my disdain for an administration that has treated our fundamental liberties as expendable by hanging an American flag on my porch mocks what America really stands for.
I understand that hospitality to one's guests is a tradition throughout the world, and that it represents the best in all of us. But I am not willing to let mere politeness trump decency and commitment to the ideals we share as a nation.
If you plan an event this fall after the convention, I will gladly dig up every plant in my beloved garden and place them all over the neighborhood at locations of your choosing. I will help however I can in efforts to improve our corner in the city we love.
But I cannot do it to to just make a political party that has so disregarded the ideals of our country feel welcome.