LETTER: Promoting free speech, informationI was driving home on First Street in New Richmond Monday morning and I horrified to see some political campaign signs had been vandalized.
To the Editor:
I was driving home on First Street in New Richmond Monday morning and I horrified to see some political campaign signs had been vandalized.
Whatever their party or view or my party or view we all have the right of freedom of speech. This act benefits no political party but is an offense to our whole system of government.
Freedom of speech and a well informed electorate were and remain the foundation of our democracy. An open and safe debate on issues is vital to our freedom, and while emotion is always attached to commitment, it is also vital that that emotion be controlled.
I am running for a position on the New Richmond School Board, but more importantly I am passionate about education and information, because that is what will sustain our democracy. We all need to know what is going on, to be fully informed, and to become active participants in our local, state and national governmental process.
I am suggesting that we take some “crazy” attempts to increase the level of participatory government. One suggestion is to have the monthly school board meetings held in the city council chambers. That way board members could face the citizens and the space available would hopefully radically increase attendance at those meetings. The board hides nothing, but really how many of the public make themselves available to the information available.
I am suggesting that the city council, the Chamber of Commerce, and the school board try to reach out to each other to see if open cooperation might benefit the people of New Richmond.
But it is incumbent on the citizens of New Richmond to start attending these meetings, to become correctly informed, and then have meaningful input. I find it scary the number of issues that come to a vote or worse yet, are enacted, about which the general public is unaware.
I am guessing that the majority of citizens are not aware of issues that are being debated that will impact your taxes, your children and your future. I urge you to get involved, and get informed.