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Wausau ‘Community for All’ proclamation prompts debate

Updated: Jun. 10, 2021 at 6:26 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - Wausau Mayor Katie Rosenberg’s ‘Community for All’ proclamation has gained nationwide attention and sparked several conversations and debates throughout Marathon County.

The proclamation follows the Marathon County Board of Supervisor’s Diversity Affairs Commission’s failure to pass a similar resolution for the county.

Chairman for the committee, Yee Leng Xiong, says the commission’s resolution was a blueprint for the Wausau Mayor.

“She did utilize most of the language from our resolution into her resolution,” Xiong said.

Since its passing in May, the proclamation, Rosenberg and Marathon County have been mentioned in two The New York Times articles, gaining the attention of those nationwide.

Rosenberg responded to the articles by saying she hopes the conversations from the recent media attention involves conversations with community leaders.

“It’s important that we’re all in this together and we’re taking the stance,” Rosenberg said. “Government can do a lot of things. We can proclaim things; we can say what we are and what we stand for. We have a big bully pulpit, but really a community is everyone. It’s the businesses, the different kind of communities of faith.”

She said these conversations are not uncommon. They are being held across the country.

“These are conversations that are taking place in communities across our nation,” Rosenberg explained. “I looked at Bend, Oregon. Their school board elections that they just had are exactly the kind of conversation that was happening there. Probably, it’s hard to see your own community reflected that way, but the fact is we’re having that conversation and that’s important than not.”

Moving forward, she said she hopes the proclamation continues to promote diversity and inclusion.

“I really want Wausau to be welcoming and inclusive of anybody that wants to be here,” Rosenberg said, “so political, ethnicity, whatever your background or orientation is, that’s what that’s about.”

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