Lewiston is my home. Lewiston is our home. Lewiston is the most diverse city in a rural, 95 percent white state. It’s where many individuals from around the world come to seek a better life and come to love.

Regrettably, Lewiston has recently been unable to elect mayors who advocate and fight for the interests of all their constituents, regardless of race, ethnicity, nationality, identity, culture and party affiliation. Lewiston has failed to elect a mayor who is authentic, transparent and genuine.

There has been a pattern of racist, bigoted and sexist mayoral history. The Sun Journal reports that, “In October 2002, Mayor Larry Raymond released a three-page open letter to the Somali community asking immigrants to spread the word among family and friends to stop moving to Lewiston in such large numbers.”

There’s the case of the previous mayor, who neither resigned nor was removed. Robert Macdonald told WGME after documentary comments came to light, “If you believe in (Somali culture) so much, why aren’t you over there fighting for it? If you believe in it so much, why aren’t you over there shedding your blood to get it? Why are you over here shirking your duties?”

The residents of Lewiston are tired of the racist rhetoric. We do not want division. We do not want bigotry. We want unity, compassion and love of all.

In the upcoming November election, let’s elect a mayor we can be proud of.

Safiya Khalid, Lewiston