Nothing can be more patriotic than the celebration of the Fourth of July and citizen participation in elections in this country. Both have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic that is still with us today, but neither American tradition was cancelled.
In Fort Bend County, we join other Americans with our creativity, which is greatly valued in our culture. And on the business front, it’s even rewarded economically. We’re open to new ideas. That’s what helps us along with the energy of our residents.
We know we can’t blink and go back to what we once had. But we stand united and hopeful with the optimism of better days ahead, as Sugar Land Mayor Joe Zimmerman said during the Red, White and Boom virtual July 4 event. We came together and we were entertained.
Reflecting on past celebrations, Zimmerman reminded us that the federal holiday was established to showcase pride in our great nation and hearing the rendition of Ray Charles’ patriotic “America the Beautiful” by the city’s superstar winner Andrew Svatek brought tears to my eyes. It reminded me of so many other memorable patriotic celebrations I attended in Sugar Land, where I live, and also those in Missouri City, where I worked for almost 10 years. I remembered the cooperative spirit between Missouri City and the City of Stafford, when they jointly funded a spectacular fireworks show annually for their neighboring communities resulting in a gigantic “uuuuh and ahhh” light display. I remembered the legendary Stafford Mayor Leonard Scarcella, whom we said goodbye to last week after his passing.
The blessing at hand is that we have an opportunity to focus on our mental and spiritual strength during this pandemic crisis of enormous scale. Let’s take time to make decisions not only for our benefit, but that of others, too, like exercising your right to vote in elections, and they all are of major consequence. Vote your conscience, not electability. In other words, vote on the person that will support a system that you support.
We have a primary runoff on July 14, with early voting underway. And in November after the general election, the day of reckoning begins for those voted into office at federal, state and local levels. That’s when the winners need to begin their obligation at fulfilling their promises and commitments to us.
COVID-19 doesn’t care if you vote Democrat or Republican. But the decisions on how to tackle disastrous situations do make a difference, especially by those in policy making roles, the ones we elect.
We want somebody who can articulate our principles, also one that can reasonably compromise, should that be needed. Let’s not risk electing someone who yields to misguided pressure. Take a look at other parts of the country. As I have said before, we don’t see this in Fort Bend. Let’s keep it that way.