Ominous Clouds

350px-boll_weevil_monumentIt is heating up in Enterprise

After all it is July in South Alabama. However the weather is not the only thing heating up. Election season is in full swing and is heating up as well. I suspect the bullying and intimidation I wrote about in The Silenced Majority has only intensified as the prospect that some are losing their grip on the reins of Enterprise has become a real possibility.

Ominous Clouds

Those ominous clouds of intimidation that have existed in Enterprise for years can be rolled away if the people of Enterprise are ready to make that happen. Unlike recent election cycles this year you have enough candidates who have stepped up to serve that can actually make the turn toward open and transparent government in Enterprise a reality if they are elected.

What is happening now is not new

What is happening this year is nothing new. Many of you may not think this intimidation is really happening here in Enterprise. I had a hard time believing it myself. Many more of you, however, are fully aware of the tactics that are being used again in this election.

Are you hesitant to really share how you feel outside of your close friends and family because you fear your job and livelihood would be affected?

This is America and freedom of speech is still a right. Not being allowed to exercise that right is wrong. I am not telling most of you anything new here. What I am trying to communicate is if you feel like this is only happening to you, it’s not. You are not alone.

First Amendment Rights still exist in Enterprise

Have you been told by your employer to “tone it down” or “watch what you say” either explicitly or by inference when it comes to the subject of city issues or the upcoming election?

Any form of “strong encouragement”, coercion or bullying to prevent you from exercising your 1st Amendment right to freedom of speech is wrong and should not be allowed to continue. One way to eliminate this activity is to answer these “requests” with a respectful but firm “No” but I know many of you cannot do that.

Give someone a nudge

What you can do is talk to those within your sphere of influence, share your experience, knowledge and why you are voting for the candidate you have chosen. This might just be the nudge that will make that person stand up with you and act on August 23rd. That person might choose to nudge someone else and…I think you get the point.

Isn’t it time for a change?

Are the current councilmen and mayor the only ones who have good ideas in Enterprise? I don’t think so. Often fresh eyes, ideas and perspectives yield better solutions. Most of those in office have been there between 16 and 28 years. Open and transparent government will be better for everyone. It will hold those in office, whoever they are, more accountable and allow more ideas from the community to be considered for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for Enterprise.

Did you mean what you said or was that just talk?

If you really meant what you have told me and others over the past 3+ years August 23rd should be circled in red on your calendar. This is not a hypothetical any more. If you get out and vote for change on August 23rd you will be participating and doing your part to implement the changes you want to see. Between now and August 23rd, you can also influence others who might believe:

  • My vote doesn’t matter or
  • All politicians are the same or
  • Everything is working fine or
  • I want the status quo to continue

You will have an impact on whether open and transparent government will come to Enterprise or not.

I am going to do everything I can do here to encourage and exhort you to move from apathy to active involvement and from fear and intimidation to standing and finishing strong with your vote to bring open and transparent government to Enterprise.

Stand strong together

The only way to beat a bully is to stand up to them. The only way to affect change in government in America is to vote. The election on August 23rd is your chance to stand up with your vote and make a difference in Enterprise. Your vote is still done in private. No one can intimidate you there.

The only way change will come to Enterprise is if the citizens who desire change stand together and elect the candidates NOT running for RE-ELECTION.

Now is the time

To paraphrase a common statement heard at many weddings, Act now or forever hold your peace. Now is the time to take action if you want the current environment to change to one where sharing your opinion freely is encouraged.

Will you help roll these ominous clouds away from Enterprise or help keep them in place? If you are a citizen of voting age in Enterprise you will be doing one or the other.

If Enterprise is ready for change we will see clearing skies beginning August 24th as the ominous clouds begin to roll away.

Until next time…

Originally posted on Peculiar Perspective on 07/21/2016

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