It is that time of year: Barbecue's, family picnics, and fireworks! I am looking forward to taking in a baseball game and fireworks with my family during the holiday. However, it is important to reflect on what July 4th truly is and what it really represents. To me it means much more than just a nice fireworks show and a hot dog from the grill. It it having the privilege to live in this great country and the freedom to write these words without fear from a tyrannical government. It is the ability to disagree without fear of reprisal. It is the right to choose those who lead and represent us in matters of the State. On days like today I am reminded and thankful for the blessings that have been bestowed on us as American citizens. One doesn't have to look far to see that we have tremendous freedoms.
Don't we live in a wonderful country? I watch the news in the evening and see what is going on in countries like Egypt and Syria and am grateful to be an American. In Egypt, they are once again on the brink of revolution, and in Syria they have been engaged in civil war for quite some time now. Those are just a couple of examples where civil unrest is building against an oppressive regime.
It seems as though these countries all want what our ancestors fought for in 1776: Freedom and the right to govern ourselves. In our Declaration of Independence it says, "Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their powers from the consent of the governed". This means quite simply that we have the right to govern ourselves and that right comes from our collective will. In our Declaration of Independence we were revoking [that right] of the British Crown to govern our colonies. Included were a whole list of grievances, but among the listing of grievances we had with the King was this, "For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent".
One may wonder if those words have as much meaning today as they did in 1776. I would argue that they do, and that we continue to live by those same principles in 2013. In fact, as you know I continue to be of the opinion that nowhere are these ideas more prevalent than at the local level. There is a saying that "all politics are local".
I am encouraged by those who have taken out papers to run for seats on the school board. These potential candidates have been called to civic duty, and if so elected will represent you in a very important position! The filing window opens on July 8th, and as these Affidavit's of Candidacy are filed with my office I will be eager to share their names and qualifications with you!
Included on that ballot in September will be a renewal of the Physical Plant and Equipment Levy (PPEL). This is a continuation of a levy that the district has had in place for more than a decade. However in keeping with the spirit of the Declaration of Independence and those grievances filed with the Crown so long ago, you have the right and responsibility to consent to this levy. In the coming weeks we will be sharing with you in great detail what the PPEL is, what it is used for, and the important role it plays in the District's ability to provide the resources and equipment necessary for the education of our youth.
Happy Independence Day! Election day is September 10th. Please remember to vote.