Perception of ‘We, the people’

Published 12:00 am Monday, July 9, 2007

To the Editor:

Last week Congressman Artur Davis was in Selma to present a check for $1 million for the Selma Interpretive Center project.

While making the presentation he made some profound statements, however, for me there was one statement in particular that resonated the loudest. A statement which the citizens of Selma should be proud of and MUST remember.

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I am paraphrasing but this was the gist of the statement, ‘No longer are the citizens of Selma choosing candidates based on outward appearances, this was evident during the last political campaign. The citizens of Selma are voicing to political candidates that if you are going to run for public office, you better have a platform.’

Everyday when I go to work I consider it a great honor to talk about Selma and the role that Selma played in the shaping of the United States of America. Although I wasn’t a participant of the Voting Rights Movement, I as well as my classmates and generations since then are products of the Voting Rights Movement.


There are four quality of life issues directly touching the lives of each and every person.

Without one or the other it will be impossible to pursue life, liberty

and happiness.

The four life issues are: 1. Education, 2. Employment or Job Opportunities, 3. Housing, and 4. Health or Medical Care. We, the people, should want quality life for ourselves as well as our neighbors (each other).

We, the people, should voice our complaints, concerns and needs.

We, the people, should be distrustful of mud slinging politics before the campaign season, during the campaign season and after the campaign season.

Because after the voting ballots have been counted, it is then we, the people who

have spoken and quite frankly any scornful comments that are spoken are spoken against we, the people.

The fact is prior to the 1965 Voting Rights Act all American citizens did not have a voice in the government. We, the people were in fact some of the people. Not so important that some rich, some poor, some black, some white, some young, some old, some male, some female but more important some could vote and some could not vote (regardless of these outward appearances). It was the majority that could not vote.

Therefore living conditions and the four quality of life issues were deplorable.

Via the ballot, the people spoke to improve education, job opportunities, housing and medical conditions by placing candidates into public office that would at least open the door for all to have a better life, experience liberty and pursue happiness. We, the people must respond accordingly by stepping through those doors (not leaning continuously on the doors).

If to govern is to be the ruling authority, then government, being the condition to rule over must have vision of a better life for ALL citizens along with a written out plan to make it happen.

Thanks for the opportunity to voice my opinion.

Tina Smiley