John F. Kennedy's inaugural address inspired children and adults to see the importance of civic action and public service. His historic words, "Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country," challenged every American to contribute in some way to the public good. Today, I borrow this phrase and put it to use with creative license and say, ask not what your community can do for you – ask what can you do for your community."
Our community is Lebanon, Ohio, and I ask that we all come together for the greater good of all citizens. What can you do? First and foremost, share kindness. Be helpful, caring, and responsive to the needs of your neighbors.
Wear a mask and social distance. Our community has individuals that are vulnerable and at high risk for contracting COVID-19. Masking should not be a political act – but an act of respect and the desire to protect other individuals from a highly contagious virus.
In 1939 the British introduced a slogan, "Keep Calm and Carry On," to improve morale as the dark days of WWII were approaching. This phrase brings about a new meaning in 2021. As a community, we must join together, keeping calm (and kind), and continue to carry on with the business at hand for a better tomorrow and a better Lebanon. We must stay calm and ensure that our City leaders are fiscally responsible, accountable, and available to constituents.
We must respect all citizens of our City regardless of their religion, financial impact, background, or political views. We must ensure that our elected officials are doing the jobs set forth by the City and School Charters. Claiming to be a "Conservative Christian" or one of "like-minded morals and values" does not belong on a ballot or political agenda. An elected official is there to serve all constituents – not just the ones that voted for them. America was founded on religious freedom. Therefore, it is wholly acceptable to be a conservative Christian, a moderate Christian, a liberal Christian, or not a Christian at all. It is important to remember that the City Council and School Board are not put in place to remove those freedoms.
Lastly, register to vote. Your deadline to register to vote in Ohio is October 5. Your vote is needed to bring about change. Vote #Lipton4Lebanon this November 2.