I wanted to show you my support for your decision to not bring refugees to Bemidji. I am sure there are many people who feel like I do, who love Bemidji and will continue to vacation in Beltrami County. It is very possible that you might even find that your tourism increases with the support of many people that agree with you, too.

Being that we are a republic, you have every right to vote and express your wants and needs for your community. It is my understanding that refugees were originally to be taken to their neighboring country as to keep them closest to their culture as that was in their best interest.

In an opinion page, it seems to me, that some people think just because Bemidji is not a major city like Minneapolis, that somehow the citizens are less informed or intelligent to make the decision that they came to. I find this extremely insulting to your community as Bemidji is well known for education in that most of Minnesota leads in education in this country.

I have always found Bemidji to be an extremely giving community. There are many ways to give to others. It is not for outsiders to make the decisions that affect your community. There are many valid reasons to choose not to bring refugees, yet it seems some think it is a reason to shame your community as if your citizens are uncaring. This is so far from the truth.

I am proud of you for standing your ground and exercising your right to vote over what you believe is best for your community. I will encourage everyone I know to make a trip to Bemidji, as it is one of the best places I have ever been to on Earth and I hope it continues to be so.