As a resident of Brunswick for almost 25 years, I thought that this community had escaped the political bigotry that has become all too common at the state and federal levels. Unfortunately, the Jan. 13 school board meeting changed my mind.

Jews, who arrived in the Americas on Columbus’s very first voyage, are not an “outside group,” unless all non-indigenous people are considered outsiders. Islam, whose adherents number more than 1.6 billion worldwide, is hardly a “not-mainstream religion.”

I like to believe the statements made on Jan. 13 are not representative of the views of Brunswick residents as a whole. If my belief is true, then I urge those who have more tolerant views to consider running for election to the school board next November.

Part of the problem, I fear, is that Brunswick suffers from a case of political apathy. Over the past three election cycles, only two of nine school board races have been contested. For that matter, only three of nine town council races have been contested.

In my opinion, voters need to set aside their complacency and throw their hats in the ring. I challenge Brunswick residents to find at least two well-qualified candidates to run for each of the three School Board and three town council seats on the ballot.

Contested races lead to a thorough discussion of the issues this community faces and give voters a choice of potential leaders. Uncontested races may lead to a maintenance of the status quo.

Michelle A. Small,