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Westfield: Remembering Our Founders

Lori Cates Hand

Sunday, January 28, 2024

The below is submitted by Gary Lane and Alexis Lowry, candidates for Westfield City Council, originally written June 5, 2023.

As candidates for office, we feel it is important to talk about our vision for the community we are hoping to represent. During this first week of June, we wanted to take a moment to talk about one of Westfield’s defining characteristics: being open and welcoming.

As most citizens know, Westfield was founded by Quakers in 1834. A core tenet of our founder's Quaker philosophy is that everyone is equal.

It’s that belief in equality that led the Quakers in Westfield to be involved in the Underground Railroad. In fact, Westfield was responsible for the freedom of more slaves than any other town in northern Indiana. Westfield’s Freedom Trail Park is named in honor of Westfield's participation in the Underground Railroad.

As we continue to grow towards a population of 60,000, we believe it is important to keep focused on our belief in equality. Pride Month provides us the opportunity to show that belief to the LGBTQ+ members of our community. Our Westfield founders would have encouraged each of us to insist all our citizens be treated as equal. Now is not the time for our city or our leaders to abandon those beliefs.

So for Pride month, we invite you to remember our Quaker roots. Let’s embody our founders' values by accepting all people. We hope you’ll join us.

And mark your calendars now to celebrate with Westfield Pride on Sept 30th at 2pm in Asa Bales Park.

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