We all remember our grade school history lesson when we studied Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address and the famous phrase extolling “…government of the people, by the people, and for the people…”
Government’s sacred function is to serve its people. But the “government” is not some isolated entity. It is, as President Lincoln articulated, comprised of the very people it serves. True, in today’s world, “government” at the state and federal levels may seem distant from our individual every day existence. That’s not true on the municipal level: the closest interaction between “government” and the people it serves occurs on the municipal level.
At the municipal level, the chief executive may well be your next door neighbor, a city councilor likely to be a colleague in a civic organization or a fellow parent at your child’s school. Municipal department heads and the various members of boards and commissions all confront the same local issues as the residents they serve, whether it’s potholes, politics, or taxes, and they all cheer the same for the local high school teams’ success. Indeed, residents are fully at liberty to proclaim their opinions at legislative sessions or bring their ideas directly to the Mayor’s office. Residents eagerly get personal with local government.
Yes, on the municipal level, “government for the people” is alive and well. But greater opportunity lies for “government by the people.”
One of the most important tasks I face as Mayor is recruiting and appointing talented individuals to the various Boards and Commissions of our City government. These boards and commissions comprise a vital part of our government, deciding issues that influence development, neighborhood enhancements and beautification, elder affairs, business and quality of life–just to name a few.
I have been fortunate to be familiar with many people who are capable and qualified to serve in various city appointments. But I don’t know everyone, and I suspect that in a City of over 53,000 residents, there are many bright and imaginative people who could offer new ideas and insights to the local government’s function. I’m looking for those people.
Everyone, it seems, has something to say about our government. Today, I offer the opportunity–call it a “challenge” if you wish–for our residents to enlist in our government BY THE PEOPLE.
At any given time, openings occur on the City’s ten Boards and Commissions, and I would welcome the chance to consider a ready list of people qualified and interested in serving the City. I encourage everyone to visit the City’s website at www.revere.org /Departments/Boards and Commissions and learn the function and purpose that these resident-manned boards serve in our community. I am inviting residents from across the City to submit their resumes and a brief statement of how they might serve the City. Your resume can provide me with a resource I can readily consult when openings occur.
Understand, these are not positions of “employment” or bountiful salary, but they are vital elements of our City’s government. Moreover, this is neither an offer nor an assurance of appointment. It is merely my public effort to stock a list of able, creative, and devoted residents interested in serving the community.
And so I am sounding the call for “people” to consider serving in their “government.” It is, on a most fundamental level, a quintessential example of government by the people, and the surest path to a government for the people.