The 4th of July has long been one of my favorite holidays. As I sit around with my friends and family eating all the hamburgers and hot dogs humanly possible it’s difficult to not appreciate the country we call home.
Over 242 years our founding parents gathered together to establish a new country and a new system of government. Rather than being governed by a royal family like those in Europe, this new nation would be ruled by the people. The founding fathers and mothers, many in their early 20s and 30s, understood the importance of allowing the people to voice their opinion and to have their say about the individuals and laws that would govern their new nation.
Civic engagement has been and continues to be one of the pillars of American democracy. For our democracy to thrive, it needs everyone to be involved – this means you. I recognize that in the early days of this country not everyone had an equal say. But as we’ve grown and matured, America has done a better job at providing its people the opportunity to voice their opinions. And every day in this country men of goodwill, from all political parties, do their best to create a “more perfect union.”
Making a democracy function smoothly is never easy. But this should never deter us from being involved. The moment we decide to involve ourselves in this democratic process is the exact moment things start to change, often for the better.
This July 4th week, your fellow citizens and friends at Goodwill Industries International invite you to recommit yourself to civic engagement. Get involved and stay involved. Contact your local and national leaders about the things that are important to you. Attend a town hall or city council meeting. Run for office yourselves. Advocate for those things that matter most to you. And yes most importantly, VOTE!