Local leaders call for unity ahead of election

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WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — It’s the night before the 2020 election and in a battleground state like Pennsylvania, people are on edge.

It’s something local community leaders are concerned with, and they say they want to do something before it’s too late. Monroe County NAACP, law enforcement, and United Way released a joint statement to the public, calling for unity before and after the presidential election.

President of the Monroe County chapter of the NAACP, Christa Caceres says concerns about potential unrest are growing as the election gets closer.

“As we got closer we started to sense that something was starting to develop regionally – not necessarily locally. So we felt it was important to put a statement out,” Caceres said.

Saying the organizations recognize that tension and emotions are connected with the upcoming election. But civil unrest, disorder and violence are not the attributes of a healthy Monroe County. Caceres says the growing tension is apparent on social media, and it’s troubling. It’s something people on either side can’t help but notice.

“It’s crazy. You can’t have an opinion without someone coming after you,” Kerry Lucinski of Wilkes-Barre said.

“It’s kind of nerve-wracking. Social media is making it a big thing. Comments make it seem bigger than it should be. Just the threats coming in everywhere,” Akira Simon of Wilkes-Barre said.

“My timeline on Twitter you see a lot of tweets about people being upset if Trump wins or Biden wins,” Rich Comer of Wilkes-Barre said.

Caceres says the statement has been well received, with around 8,000 views on Facebook. Voters like Comer appreciate the united front, especially as candidates zero in on the Keystone State.

“I think it’s awesome that the community is getting together and sort of putting some parameters or guidelines on how to go about demonstrating whether it be your excitement or displeasure,” Comer said.

“While certainly everyone has a right to their opinion, everyone has a right to their candidate but we should always keep the unity in community,” Caceres said.

Caceras says for the past few months the Monroe County chapter of the NAACP has been meeting with local law enforcement agencies and United Way. The goal is for law enforcement to be seen as a resource for all and for the county to demonstrate principles of fairness, honor and community.

Along with the NAACP, the statement is signed by Pocono Mountains Regional Police Department, Stroud Area Regional Police, Pocono Township Police Department, Monroe County Sheriff’s Office and Pocono Mountains United Way.

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