The following message was delivered to Columbus Council, the Mayor, and all citizens today at our Columbus City Council Meeting. If you missed it, you can see it again throughout the week on CCGTV.
Happy Holidays, Columbus!
2008 Message of Peace and Goodwill
Jeremy Hobbs, Chairman Non Partisan Civic Alliance of Columbus
Mr. Mayor, Members of Council, Fellow Citizens
Another year has come and gone. Just last year I stood here and delivered a message of goodwill, hope, love and unity. And since that time I have bare witness to a great many things, some of which I would like to share with the people of Columbus today.
In 2007 we saw a heat wave and drought that restricted our water usage, swallowed up our beautiful Chattahoochee and even Lake Lanier, Shut off all water fountains across this town, and brought the Governor of the great state of Georgia to his knees in public prayer at our beautiful gold domed capitol building in Atlanta.
Since that time and even up till today, God has answered those prayers for now our Chattahoochee and Lake Lanier are full and our fountains are once again flowing and 2008 has been a year bountiful with rain.
In 2007, We saw a spike in malicious crime, We saw fewer police on the streets, We heard of overcrowding in our jails, and we all drove upon the bumpy and overcrowded streets.
But in 2008, we saw a drop in malicious crime. More criminals captured and put behind bars. More police on the streets. And there is a reason for it, because in 2008, our citizens united and took a stand against crime and overwhelmingly showed their goodwill one Tuesday in July by creating a community investment, a one penny investment that will provide our cities infrastructure needs, will help pave and widen our overburdened roads, put one hundred new officers on the street, and provide better, humane treatment to our inmates, by adding a new tower to our jail. Our community came together, to ensure success and guarantee the future safety, growth, and prosperity of our families, our businesses, and our homes here in Columbus.
We had a lot of great history take place in the year 08, After a long two year battle for the White House, we saw a woman named Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton receive an historic 18 million votes in her bid for the Democratic nomination.
But history didn’t just stop there.
In 2008, we saw another woman from Alaska, Governor Sarah Palin, become the first female Republican V P candidate in U S History and she helped Senator John McCain garner in over 56 million votes for President.
But again history didn’t just stop there.
In 2008, We saw a major step forward in growth as a nation, by electing a man from Illinois, the first African-American to the office of President of the United States. A man named Senator Barack Obama who instilled into over 64 million Americans the call for change and had every American saying once again, ‘Yes We Can’.
Even during one of our nations darkest hours and our country facing the worse economic crisis in our history, All across this great country, the American spirit is still alive; stronger than ever before and people everywhere are filled with a sense of hope. And I’ll tell you why. Because, we are a nation of believers! We are a nation that has fought and conquered adversity time and time again, and as we march toward the face of adversity once more we shall stand together, united, saying in one voice, “Yes We Can”.
As our city and our nation embark on an uncertain future, I once again call upon our citizens, our community, and our nation to stand together united. As we have seen over this past year, we can accomplish more when we are united, than we can when we choose to divide.
Beware though, there are many who work non-stop to remind us of all the bad. Our news is filled with misery and despair, because they say, “That’s what sells.” But you see, that is where they are misguided and wrong. Because we thrive the most as a people, as a nation when we see and hear about the good that others do.
We often are forced to look hard and dig deep to see or hear about anything good. But fear not, there are those who still work hard to bring forth the message of hope, cheer, love, unity, peace, and above all good will to others. These are the elements that bring joy into our lives. These are the elements that make life truly worth living.
As we move forward to 2009, Let us be resolved to continue our quest for growth and to shift the balance in life from one that is mostly negative and pessimistic to one that is more positive and optimistic.
The final lines from Frost’s poem titled “The Road Not Taken” read, "Two roads diverged in a wood, and I – I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” I strongly urge our citizens to take the high road, the road less traveled by. I call upon each and every soul to stand together, and put aside any divide. Love thy neighbor and continue to spread goodwill to all.
In just one short year, we have accomplished much.
But fear not, Better days are still to come.
That’s the end of my speech but I just wanted to take a moment if I may, Mr. Mayor, Members of Council, Everyone here in this room and in this building, all our brave men and women in uniform and those of public safety and to all citizens of Columbus,
I wanted to take this opportunity to personally thank each and every one of you for everything you do to help make this city and our world a better place. And I wish each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart a very blessed, happy, joyous, and bountiful holiday season.
Thank You and God Bless