‘Not to be taken for granted’: Locals celebrate President Joe Biden’s inauguration
Local activist Itara O’Connell said she felt strongly about celebrating the beginning of a new presidential administration following President Joe Biden’s inauguration Wednesday.
“Yesterday, I just started feeling hopeful and excited that we’re going to get out of this, to me, terrible situation that we’re in,” O’Connell said Wednesday. A few hours later, she planned to take to Grass Valley’s Glenbrook Basin to celebrate.
She said she decided Tuesday to have a sign made which read, “Celebrate democracy!”
On the choice of message, she said, “I’m going to try to be sort of non-partisan, but I just feel happy that democracy is still a thing.”
On why she saw the intersection as a good format for demonstration, O’Connell said, “I’m in favor of putting a message out on the street because I think that it’s important to express yourself, and to get support with your fellow citizens around certain issues.”
She explained that doing so at an intersection, specifically, both brings it into the awareness of all who pass through and gives an opportunity for those interested to join in and become further involved with a given cause.
“I’m happy to see the peaceful transfer of power,” Peter Minett, chair of the Nevada County Democratic Party, emphasizing that he was glad in particular that it had been peaceful.
“I’m pleased and impressed with what President Biden has been saying, and I’m enjoying some of the pomp and circumstance, even though it’s highly muted compared to normal times,” said Minett.
“It’s simply a celebration of something that was not obvious,” said Minett, on O’Connell’s planned demonstration. “This year’s peaceful transfer of power was not to be taken for granted, so that’s cause for people to want to celebrate.”
Asked about his reaction to the presidential inauguration, Nevada County Republican Party chair Bob Hren declined to comment.
Republican U.S. Rep. Doug LaMalfa, whose district contains most of Nevada County, said in a statement Wednesday, “The reality of Joe Biden taking the oath of office is now here, but my pledge to continue working every day on behalf of the people I represent and to make our country stronger remains unchanged.”
He went on to wish Biden success in their common goals, and stated he would be voicing “a better way” on policy he believes is harmful.
“We are all Americans, and while there are large disagreements in policy, we must find a way forward that protects and improves our country without infringement of our God-given rights,” said LaMalfa.
Victoria Penate is a staff writer for The Union. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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County officials announced Tuesday they had opened a stand-by list — to be filled by people 65 and older and those who work in health care, food and agriculture, education and childcare, and emergency services — for the county’s Grass Valley Vaccine Clinic. As of Thursday afternoon, the list was at capacity and will remain closed, according to the online form, until space opens back up.