Tradition is good. I own the Agora Grand Event Center, where most of our business comes from traditional weddings. Tradition should be honored and celebrated.

But tradition should never be a justification for fear of change.

There is a growing movement right now to unify Lewiston and Auburn. The grassroots organization, OneLA, is strongly in support of it.

So am I. Residents should be, too.

In 2014, I moved to Lewiston from Washington, D.C. — a very large, multi-ethnic cosmopolitan city. So here is an outsider’s perspective: compared to any major American city, Lewiston and Auburn are culturally and socioeconomically the same. We are two small cities that share the same hopes and the same problems, and our downtowns are separated by a few thousand feet. It is silly for us to be competing against each other; that results in a race to the bottom.

It is economically inefficient for a group of 60,000 people to pay for two school districts, two police departments, two fire departments, etc. While there will no doubt be some transaction costs in joining the two cities into one, there is absolutely no doubt that such a merger will result in significant long-term savings.

Let us unite as one city — the greatest city in Maine. Let us attract the best talent and the best businesses. Let us knock Portland’s socks off. Let’s stop our infighting and instead create OneLA.

Andrew Knight, Lewiston

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