A Message From Our Chairman
Our nation has experienced, yet again, a ghastly week of violence, violence against black people, violence against police officers, both painful explosions of violence against people who live in our country presumably as part of a common civic culture. Some were murdered going about their daily lives, others doing their jobs. We have never been a peaceful nation as the culture of the frontier and culture of the oppression of slavery left their indelible marks, seen and unseen but always present. Violence is more a part of the American character than we wish to acknowledge. But, the escalation of murderous episodes on our streets that are literally part of daily life in so many communities, and these spasms of murder—there is no other accurate word—of law enforcement against people of color and now against law enforcement itself long ago reached unacceptable levels, a level which continues and continues, perhaps escalated by the increased violence in the language of our political discourse which is itself deplorable.
I speak for the leadership of the firm when I say that we must acknowledge that our work in the repair of the physical form of cities, its parks, buildings, and streets, will be of radically diminished value if daily life in our cities and towns remain marred by these ongoing assaults, deadly and otherwise. Our work as a firm has its focus elsewhere in our communities on issues of vital importance, but all of us as individuals have a moral responsibility in a manner of our own choosing to act as we may to stop the ongoing, indeed, apparently escalating cycle of violence. March, give money, pray, talk to friends, contact your elected officials or do whatever else you feel will be effective. If nothing else, bear witness by watching the extraordinary compilation of videos of the assaults complied by the Times. Regardless, I encourage you to do so as you wish with an understanding of our support as the leaders of the firm as individuals and as a professional community. We also extend our thoughts to our colleagues in Dallas who work in an office literally yards from yesterday’s tragedy. That City is resilient, courageous and strong with the good fortune of being so well led by Mayor Rawlings. I am confident that this inclusive community will surmount these events, which we can sadly but assuredly say could have happened in any city in America, including NYC where two officers were similarly executed not so long ago.
In sorrow and with hope –
John H. Alschuler, Jr.