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Friday, Dec 19, 2014
Letter of the Day

‘An act of honoring the truth’

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As a HART board member who participated in the general board meeting Monday night, I voted to rescind the previous vote to deny the running of an advertisement which read, “CAIR Florida — Embracing Diversity at Work, Defending Civil Rights in the Community.”

During my recorded comments I made clear the reasons why I changed my vote (so I will not reiterate them here). I am writing to comment on statements made by a fellow board member who intimated the previous vote result was born of hatred. I respectfully and wholly disagree with those statements. Voting to ensure policy and the law are followed, and acknowledging policy needs to be changed, is not hatred. Rather, it is an act of honoring the truth.

It is widely accepted that in our role as public servants our positions are not a platform to flagrantly advocate for our personal beliefs, and I fully respect that in the business I conduct on the HART board.

With that noted, I am compelled to clarify that my actions on this matter were never based in hatred, but rather in love — love for my neighbor, as passenger safety was the paramount consideration in my previous vote. Now that HART has honored the applicant’s request to run their ad, it is my hope they will hold themselves accountable to the same standards of treatment they asked HART to uphold.

John Melendez

Tampa

The writer is a HART board member.

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