Every 4th of July we, as a country, celebrate our independence from Jolly Olde England. The day stands as a reminder of how we came together as a people to establish self-governance. Self-Governance. What an interesting word. Self-Governance. I keep writing this word because it strikes me that we, as a country, seem to have forgotten this word, self-governance. Where we govern ourselves. Instead, we have somehow allowed a group of people who now govern in a way that is juxtaposed to the will of the people. I can think of only one solution: Self-Governance. I feel that we, as a country, can no longer wait. I feel that it is time for each of us to, not just listen to what Jack Kennedy said in his 1961 inaugural address, but to hear it as well. “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.” In so doing he challenged every one of us to, in some way, contribute to the public good.
Not all of us are willing or able to run for National or even State wide elections, but, we can all contribute locally, which in turn will affect our Region, which in turn . . . The time for sitting back as an arm chair quarterback must end. The least we can all do is take to our computers and write. Send a letter to the local editor, heck send it to a major news outlet. Take to the streets and protest publicly. Or better yet, put yourself up for local office. Which is what I did recently. I have decided that I am no longer satisfied with sitting on the sidelines, I wish to use my voice to be a part of the solution. So I put myself forward for local office. Here is the thing. I am normally a quiet, sit at home and read type of fellow. Now do not get me wrong, I have been known to burn a candle or two but rarely do I venture out into the public eye. This week after much consideration, (the letter below says I did not, but I did,) I interviewed with the City Council and I am glad that I did. But, I will tell you, that I was a little nervous. When I am nervous about something I like to write, mostly to my friends. Below is a quick email I sent off to a dear friend in Jolly Olde, to share my thoughts of applying for public service. It is not a review, or even my normal writing style but I hope that you enjoy reading it.
I am writing to tell you that, I did a thing. I did a thing that is a bit of a thing, at least locally it is a bit of a thing. Well, one could say that almost anywhere this would be consider a bit of a thing, at least, if not truly, an actual thing.
You see, the thing I did was this. I applied for an open position on Vallejo’s Planning Commission. That’s a thing. It’s a thing mostly due to timing. Normally it would not really be a thing but you need to understand that Vallejo itself has become a bit of a thing. I mean we were a thing when we built liberty ships and submarines, I mean, right? A thing. Then we became another thing when old Bill Clinton decide to close down the Mare Island Naval Base. Then we became yet another thing when we became notorious for being the city that housed the most parolees, as compared to every other city in the State: A thing.
To be sure we became a thing when the City filed for bankruptcy. That IS a thing, or was, or whatever.
But the thing is, Vallejo is now becoming a cool thing. Things are happening in Vallejo. Property values are up. Artists and good chefs are moving in. Major developers are taking over the Northern part of Mare Island and building film studios and distilleries. (Drinking and film making. It’s been a thing for years.)
So the thing I did is a thing related to these other things. Since Vallejo is growing and becoming more of a thing, the role of the Planning Commission is sure to be a real thing. Or so I think. But I need to admit something to you Michele that I have not admitted to anyone else. I do not think that I thought about this thing thoroughly. That is to say I did not think about this thing much at all. I just did the thing. Well, applied for the thing, and, interviewed for the thing, the Planning Commissioner thing. Now I must wait to hear to know if I got the thing. I think I got the thing but one never really knows when it comes to things no matter how much thinking one does, does one?
In closing, I would like to ask one thing of you. Please keep your fingers crossed for me and this thing? I think that I really want this thing.
Until next time,
Eat Well and Smile Often