Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson

More than 61 million Americans voted for Donald Trump, including 215,000 in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties, wrote Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson in an op-ed Monday. Yet, despite the differences of opinion, engagement is needed for the country and local populace to move forward, he wrote.

“My father always taught us that while we may not always accept the opinions of others, we must respect the opinions of others. For many of us living in this complex world, this concept is becoming more challenging with each passing day,” wrote Carson, who has represented parts of Oakland, Berkeley, Emeryville and Albany on the Alameda County Board of Supervisors since 1993.

“Together we must begin an authentic dialogue with one another, even with those of different opinions,” he added.

The call for reconciliation and dialogue between the very large local progressive voting bloc and the small band of local moderates and conservatives who backed Trump for president is not uncommon for Carson, known widely as one of the East Bay’s most thoughtful statesmen. Carson also called on local faith-based and community organizations to “initiate these conversations in earnest at the ground level.”

“Doing so can highlight that despite our differences of skin color, sexual orientation, religious belief, or economic status, we have far more in common,” he wrote. “We share the desires of a better future for our community and to live in peace, to develop to our maximum potential, and to genuinely embrace those who may be different from us.”

The sentiment offered by Carson, however, is markedly different from the sometimes angry calls of “resistance” to much of Trump’s stated or unstated plans following his inauguration on Jan. 20. State leaders, including some local lawmakers, have also chosen to pepper their rhetoric against Trump in confrontational terms.

Last Dec. 5, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon declared “Californians should be wary of the national calls for unity and healing. Unity must be separated from complicity. And we must be defiant whenever justice, fairness, and righteousness require. He added, “Californians do not need healing. We need to fight.”