President’s Page: The Patriotism Of Participation

Ward 1 Council Community Conversation: On Thursday, June 20th, Councilmembers Kyle Baker, Sarah Kepple, Tom Bullock (pictured left to right), and Tristan Rader and Cindy Marx (not pictured) presented updates and answered resident questions at the Ward 1 Council Community Conversation at the Lakewood Family YMCA.

Happy Independence Day neighbors!

Two years ago my husband Andy and I visited the National Archives where we saw the immortal words in faded ink on delicate parchment declaring, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” Exactly how such a government would be formed with the consent and input of the governed is laid out in a similarly fragile document in the same room, The Constitution.

Like the Constitution, the Charter of the City of Lakewood sets the foundation of how our local municipal government shall function, defining Council’s legislative role, the executive duties of the Mayor, and the administrative departments and officers. The charter also delineates general governance and recourse measures, as well as the citizen boards and commissions required for oversight. The Charter states that every 10 years, “nine registered voters of the city shall be appointed as members of a charter review commission.” As 2024 is just such a review year, for the past six months the citizen volunteers serving on the commission have been diligently working their way through the Charter, researching, discussing, and debating potential amendments.

At a time when the democratic rule of law envisioned in our nation's foundational documents sometimes feels as precarious as the paper on which they are written, it has been heartening to watch these dedicated Lakewoodites contribute their time and talent to our local democracy. City Council expects to receive theformal recommendations of the Charter Review Commission at our July 17th regular Council meeting at 7:30pm at City Hall, and I anticipate that they will be referred to committee for more detailed deliberation. I hope you’ll join us for those conversations, either in person or streaming online. Per the Charter, Council may submit any proposed amendments recommended by the commission to Lakewood voters.

A government by the people and for the people requires more than just the consent of the governed, it requires the active participation of all of us. I’m grateful to residents who patriotically participate in the boards and commissions required by the Charter, including the Civil Service Commission, Planning Commission, Board of Zoning Appeals, Board of Building Standards and Building Appeals, Charter Review. I’m equally grateful to the many citizens serving on advisory boards and task forces that help us gain input and expertise from our community.

If you’d like to get more involved, please join us for a Council meeting, reach out to your Councilmember, or join us for one of our upcoming Council Community Conversations, where you can ask questions, meet neighbors, share ideas, and get updates about things happening in your neighborhood. Our next Council Community Conversation is Ward 3 on July 17th from 6-7pm at the Barton Center, 14300 Detroit Ave. Hope to see you there!

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Volume 20, Issue 13, Posted 8:59 PM, 07.02.2024