Thursday, November 12, 2009

State of the City

Today I was a guest of the City of Seal Beach. It is quite a switch from being reprimanded from the dais by the Mayor. LOL - I guess I have made it. Seriously, the last three years of living in Seal Beach has taught me that it is of VITAL importance that you PARTICIPATE IN YOUR COMMUNITY.

Let me pause to let that sink in.

Want to hear it again? PARTICIPATE IN YOUR COMMUNITY!!!!!

I am frightened and discouraged by the complete apathy by many of my fellow citizens. Go use your rights of free speech and assembly. Go advocate for positive change. Go make the world a better place as only you can do. We all have lives, please, I implore you, don't lead one of quiet desperation. Lead one of great strides, active help and make a difference. Today I knew I made it when the mayor made a joke with me in it. Two years ago, the Chamber of Commerce would not even have been invited. Now we represent a powerful constituency of nearly 250 member businesses of all sizes and are providing feedback on zoning, policy and major funding issues in our town. The City you live in has the power to keep you in business or not. They control many elements of your external marketing, your conditions of use for your business property and even hours you can operate. Reach out to your community leaders and build bridges not bonfires of hostility.

Finally, I would make a personal call to action to all of my LGBT brethren out there. COME OUT in your community. Show up to a public meeting. Talk about your rights. Insist on them. I will not drink out of a separate but equal drinking fountain. I will not give up my seat on the bus for someone else (unless they need it by means of disability). I will not accept a separate but equal marriage or civil union. I will not be quiet as a business leader because I am not "abnormal" - I am a vital part of the community because I participate. Shouldn't you participate too?

ps - thanks to the Mayor, Boeing (as I sat at their table) and City Manager. I really had a good time!

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