District 3 Digest
July 4th event

Happy Fourth of July!


I hope you had a happy and healthy Fourth of July! I was hoping to get this newsletter out before the 4th but a nasty cold saw an end to that plan. But here's a picture from the festivities and once again the City of Tamarac did an excellent job of celebrating the birth of the United States of America.

Reflections image

Reflections

 
On the morning of June 14th, a gunman opened fire on members of Congress and others who were practicing for a charity softball game later that week. At the Commission meeting that night, I shared my thoughts about this shooting and what I believe has led to the violence and hate we are seeing in politics in our country.

I would like to take this time during my Commission report to call on the leadership of the Republican and Democratic parties to cease the rhetoric that divides us as a country. Both parties are so busy catering to the extremes of each party and focusing on ways to “get into power” that they have forgotten that together we are stronger. 

We all know that there are many issues facing our country that must be fixed which will take EVERYONE working together to create a solution. Healthcare, national security, our national debt, and taking care of our active military and our veterans are NOT Democratic or Republican issues. They are OUR issues as a nation.

I along with most Americans this morning was appalled to hear about the shooting of Representative Scalise along with his staffer and several others during a practice for a charity softball game in Virginia. This shooter like several before him believed he was justified in his violence because he disagreed with the politics of the people he intended to kill.

I was taught to respect the office of an elected official even if I did not agree with their politics however, when we as a people watch our elected representatives fall back on name calling, questioning the morals and intent of others and when they call for the arrest of, investigation of, impeachment of, or the physical assault of other elected officials, it denigrates the office of those representatives and further erodes the respect of all elected offices. This also creates a divide between the parties that allows for hate to grow and our differences to be the focus instead of finding solutions to our problems.

Both parties have forgotten the art of civil discourse. According to Kenneth J. Gergen, a psychologist and professor at  Swarthmore College, civil discourse is "the language of dispassionate objectivity", and he suggests that it requires respect of the other participants. He further suggests that civil discourse neither diminishes the other's moral worth, nor questions their good judgment; it avoids hostility, direct antagonism, or excessive persuasion; it requires modesty and an appreciation for the other participant's experiences.

I challenge those in office and those in leadership of the parties to change the language and direction of their dialogue. Treat a debate as an opportunity to engage in a civil discourse. Do not allow for the mud-slinging hate filled talk that we have been subjected to for the last decade, or more.

We the people must expect better of our parties and our elected officials.

Vacation

 
The City Commission takes a vacation from July 17th to August 13th. Please note that while I will be around, it may take me several days to get back to any phone calls or emails. I hope you too will be enjoying a little break with your families and friends during the summer. Have fun, stay safe and don’t forget the sunscreen!
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