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Another mass shooting. Another group of individuals and families trying to come to terms with an incomprehensible grief. And while this tragedy did not happen within our small community of Gilroy, it took place in our larger community that we call home.

I am currently on vacation in the land of paradise more than 1,000 miles away. Yet this shook me to the core nonetheless. I brace myself for what is likely to come as it often does after hearing about these incidents. The nightmares…the overwhelming sense of sadness…the futile attempt to understand this…the shaking at night. Already my stomach is in knots.

I know that many of us in our community of Gilroy feel this way and I am not alone. In some sad way this gives me comfort.

I also brace myself for the empty rhetorical words from our elected officials that will spew forward endlessly for days to come. They send their thoughts and prayers. When will they learn that these words provide no comfort? When will they understand that this type of tragedy needs to be addressed? As our elected officials, what we want is for them to put aside their political affiliations and come together to address the situation and work together to mitigate these tragedies.

For those who pat themselves on the back for authoring, co-authoring, or sponsoring legislation that might move the needle, don’t. Just because you support this legislation your job is not done.

To the VTA community, the coming days, weeks and months will be challenging. Don’t minimize or compare your feelings. Acknowledge them. They are real no matter your relationship to this shooting. Please reach out for support. The County has proven to be a godsend to many in the community of Gilroy. They will be there for you as well. Engage in their support.

I am confident that just as the community of Gilroy came together to heal, the VTA community will as well.

Gilroy Strong. VTA Strong.

Kelly Ramirez,


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