Candidates’s Forum at Edgewood ISD

Candidate for governor, Bill White was recently at a candidates forum hosted by Edgewood School District. Both Bill White and Gov. Rick Perry were invited to attend but Perry declined the invitation to meet and answer the questions of the local high school students at the forum, a civics project set up by Edgewood. This was an opportunity for these student, many of whom would become voters for the first time, to learn how government works through the electoral process.

Before Bill White took the stage, a few elected officials spoke to the students. State Rep. Jose Menendez essentially gave a civics lesson on the value in voting. Initially using his parents hard work to become citizen, so they could vote as an example, he spoke of how politicians do not canvass for the votes of non voters. He said that if you want to matter, if you want to be heard, you vote.

State Rep. Joaquin Castro spoke briefly on the potential of the students at the forum, encouraging al to live your dreams and to chase your dreams. County Commissioner Tommy Adkisson spoke of the need for community involvement before stumping for Bill White for governor.

Bill White began with his local roots to the city, being a Churchill High School graduate, his parents teaching in the city, and how as a high school student he canvassed westside neighborhood for local candidates.

White would touch on public education, addressing issues from the need to expand access to pre-k education to more affordable college education. He spoke of how a good education can mean freedom in choosing the job that you want. He also spent time talking about the importance of budget issues and how they related to providing for a good education.

Before the forum was turned over to students to ask the candidate questions, Bill White did ask students, “Why wouldn’t you vote?” He told the students to not vote was really a vote, showing that you are content with being stuck in traffic.

Thich Nhat Hanh Quote

“In order to rally people, governments need enemies. They want us to be afraid, to hate, so we will rally behind them.”

— Thich Nhat Hanh

Speaking of Civics

Words like civics, duty, and responsibility seemed to have played a large part of growing up on military bases and being part of the public school system on those military bases. In middle school I took a class in civics and I took part in a lot of civics like discussions in many of my classes in high school. (This was not the case in my two occasions in civilian public schools.) In elementary school, civics often took the form of learning and celebrating public holidays, public figures, and singing songs like the ones I’ve included in this post. One thing I would add about my experience as a DoDDS student is that it would, oddly to some, lay the foundation for much of my more liberal beliefs and ideals.

You Are My Sunshine
Written by former Louisiana State Governor Jimmie Davis and Charles Mitchell

You Are My Sunshine
My only sunshine.
You make me happy
When skies are grey.
You’ll never know, dear,
How much I love you.
Please don’t take my sunshine away

The other nite, dear,
As I lay sleeping
I dreamed I held you in my arms.
When I awoke, dear,
I was mistaken
And I hung my head and cried.

You are my sunshine,
My only sunshine.
You make me happy
When skies are grey.
You’ll never know, dear,
How much I love you.
Please don’t take my sunshine away.

I’ll always love you
And make you happy
If you will only say the same
But if you leave me
To love another
You’ll regret it all some day;

You are my sunshine,
My only sunshine.
You make me happy
When skies are grey.
You’ll never know, dear,
How much I love you.
Please don’t take my sunshine away.

You told me once, dear
You really loved me
And no one else could come between
But now you’ve left me
And love another
You have shattered all my dreams;

You are my sunshine,
My only sunshine.
You make me happy
When skies are grey.
You’ll never know, dear,
How much I love you.
Please don’t take my sunshine away.

Louisiana my Louisiana
the place where I was borne.
White fields of cotton
— green fields clover,
the best fishing
and long tall corn;

You are my sunshine,
My only sunshine.
You make me happy
When skies are grey.
You’ll never know, dear,
How much I love you.
Please don’t take my sunshine away.
Crawfish gumbo and jambalaya
the biggest shrimp and sugar cane,
the finest oysters
and sweet strawberries
from Toledo Bend to New Orleans;

You are my sunshine,
My only sunshine.
You make me happy
When skies are grey.
You’ll never know, dear,
How much I love you.
Please don’t take my sunshine away.

This Land Is Your Land
by Woody Guthrie

This land is your land,
This land is my land,
From California
To the New York Island,
From the redwood forest,
To the Gulf stream waters,
This land was made for you and me.

As I was walking,
That ribbon of highway,
I saw above me
That endless skyway,
I saw below me
That golden valley.
This land was made for you and me.
I’ve roamed and rambled
And I’ve followed my footsteps
To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts
And all around me a voice was sounding
This land was made for you and me

The sun comes shining
As I was strolling
The wheat fields waving
And the dust clouds rolling
The fog was lifting a voice come chanting
This land was made for you and me

As I was walkin’
I saw a sign there
And that sign said no trespassin’
But on the other side
It didn’t say nothin!
Now that side was made for you and me!

In the squares of the city
In the shadow of the steeple
Near the relief office
I see my people
And some are grumblin’
And some are wonderin’
If this land’s still made for you and me.

Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking
That freedom highway
Nobody living can make me turn back
This land was made for you and me

Teaching Civics

Center for Civic Education

Yes, I do believe we need to look at getting back to the teaching of civics in the classroom. Being taught civics in DoDDS public schools, and being raised on military bases, may explain some of my more socialist thoughts, but it also is the basis for my belief in the role we all play as citizens in our community, our nation, and throughout the world.

Still Relevent

“The government, which was designed for the people, has got into the hands of the bosses and their employers, the special interests. An invisible empire has been set up above the forms of democracy.”

-Woodrow Wilson

Taken From Our U.S. Constitution

“We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

Among other things, the preamble of the U.S. Constitution speaks of, “promoting the general welfare,” to me this would suggest that the people of the United States could very well move in socialist, or even communist direction, if we felt that is the best way to promote the general welfare. We could also move in the opposite direction if we so choose, a theocracy.

We do have that nice little thing in the Constitution called the Bill of Rights though, a nice thing to have when the people debate the role and direction that our government will take in regards to promoting the general welfare.