Letter: Howard Builds Bridge to Overcome Tsunami Tragedy | Opinion


During this election season, there have been numerous town halls, news articles and editorials discussing the candidates and the positions they are collectively vying to win. Defining who is best qualified and able to exercise local leadership should never be centered on partisan affiliation, but rather on the needs of the community.

In my years of service as both a minister and a local elected official, I have come to understand that leadership is not a role given to you; it is earned through hard work and vision coupled with the ability to share both with others.

I have no doubt that everyone running for office is a good person with good intentions, but there is one person who I am sure is not only qualified, but committed to doing the work that our community needs: Chris Howard.

During my two terms on Crescent City Council, I had the honor of working side-by-side with Supervisor Howard on many projects, and I believe the city and county are better partners today thanks to these efforts.

Perhaps the biggest challenge we have faced together has been building a bridge and connecting two communities that have both been affected by similar tragedies. The catalyst for this connection began with our students who had a vision to bring hope to students in Rikuzentakata, Japan by returning a small boat named Kamome that ran aground in Crescent City in 2013.

From this effort, Chris Howard and I worked toward a vision of a Sister City relationship based on the principles of our children’s selfless act to bring hope to a community devastated by the tsunami. This vision is now a reality.

The U.S. Embassy Tokyo and Sister Cities International have held up our relationship as a model of grassroots diplomacy, drawing inspiration from how two communities were brought together through times of hardship and loss.

Chris and I stood together at the United Nations for World Tsunami Awareness Day, representing the partnership between the United States and Japan in building a safer future for our children.

When NBC sports learned of our story, they chose to make us their feature during the 2021 Olympics, and 30 million viewers had the opportunity to see the best of our community through this documentary.

As president of our local hospitality office, I can tell you that we are now seeing the return on this exhibit, it would not have been possible without the hard work and vision of Chris Howard.

Thank you, Chris Howard, for your family’s tireless work and selfless contributions to making our community a better place for everyone.

member of Crescent City Council, and

Pastor of the First Baptist Church

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