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In the last 72 hours, Alton Sterling and Philando Castile were killed by police officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Minneapolis a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota, and then a sniper killed five police officers in Dallas. These tragic deaths, on the heels of a mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando last month, have left us reeling.

At its core, Greater Greater Washington is about creating more livable communities and cities. Normally, we do this by discussing transportation, housing, development, public spaces, and other elements that make our cities better places to live.

Today, though we wanted to take a moment to pause and acknowledge that a basic prerequisite before we can even begin to talk about “livable cities” is to preserve human lives, and our society did not succeed for the victims of these events.

We invite you to take a moment, too. We don’t want violence like this to go unmarked in our personal lives or in the communities we want to help make better.

David Whitehead was the Housing Program Organizer at Greater Greater Washington from 2016 to 2019.  A former high school math teacher and a community organizer, David worked to broaden and deepen Greater Greater Washington’s efforts to make the region more livable and inclusive through education, advocacy, and organizing. He lives in Eckington.

Sarah Guidi was Greater Greater Washington's Managing Director from 2015 to 2018. She now lives in Raleigh, North Carolina with her family.

David Alpert is Founder and President of Greater Greater Washington and Executive Director of DC Sustainable Transportation (DCST). He worked as a Product Manager for Google for six years and has lived in the Boston, San Francisco, and New York metro areas in addition to Washington, DC. He lives with his wife and two children in Dupont Circle. Unless otherwise noted, opinions in his GGWash posts are his and not the official views of GGWash or DCST.

Dan Reed is an urban planner and freelance writer. Check out his regular column in Washingtonian and his blog, Just Up the Pike. He's also an agent at Living In Style Real Estate. Dan still gets a full night's sleep. He lives in downtown Silver Spring. All opinions are his own.

Jonathan Neeley was Greater Greater Washington's staff editor from 2014-2017. He gets most everywhere by bike (or Metro when it's super nasty out), thinks the way planning decisions shape our lives is fascinating, and plays a whole lot of ultimate. He lives in Brookland.

Edward Russell is an air transport reporter by day with a passion for all things transportation. He is a resident of Eckington and tweets frequently about planes, trains and bikes.

Matt Johnson has lived in the Washington area since 2007. He has a Master’s in Planning from the University of Maryland and a BS in Public Policy from Georgia Tech. He lives in Dupont Circle. He’s a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners, and is an employee of the Montgomery County Department of Transportation. His views are his own and do not represent those of his employer.

Aimee Custis is a transportation nerd and activist. Her writing represents her own views. When she's not writing about WMATA or curating the GGWash Flickr pool, you’ll find Aimee at home in Dupont Circle, or practicing her other love, wedding photography.

Stephen Repetski is a Virginia native and has lived in the Fairfax area for over 20 years. He has a BS in Applied Networking and Systems Administration from Rochester Institute of Technology and works in Information Technology. Learning about, discussing, and analyzing transit (especially planes and trains) is a hobby he enjoys.