The winds of change are upon us. Please make sure you get your home winterized and your furnace and/or heating systems checked before the severe cold sets in. Every year we have families being affected by carbon monoxide poisoning do to malfunctioning heaters or blocked chimneys/stacks. Preventative maintenance goes a long way to keeping your family safe and warm this winter.
With the change in season always comes that special day – and it’s not Halloween –even though it just may be scarier; that is ELECTION DAY! The day of fate is NOVEMBER 8th. I, like many of you, am not happy by what I see, read and hear virtually every day about this Presidential election as well as the statewide races we are confronted with as concerned citizens. As I have said repeatedly, Democracy is neither free nor pretty at times. This election, certainly, at least in my lifetime, has exceeded in every negative way possible. It has truly become ugly and as a result many citizens have become disenchanted and I hear far too often about folks not wanting to vote or plain simply will not vote.
All I can say, from someone who has been voting since I was legally able to, and what I have told my own children on more than one occasion, I vote not just for myself and my own family but also for my community and especially for those who made the ultimate sacrifice defending this great country during all the wars and all the conflicts from the American Revolution to all the battles we still fight today, including attacks by terrorists and religious fanatics. I am constantly reminded of that when I visit the various churches in our community and see the plaques and monuments to those who served and died in defense of this great nation. For the most part – they were just kids just out of high school or in some cases who quit school to enlist; some making the ultimate sacrifice and some coming home permanently disabled and not the same.
Furthermore, I am reminded when I drive past some of the empty factories and sites where there were massive labor disputes in the 30’s and 40’s where workers fought for better conditions, wages and the right to unionize, like the old Fisher Body site on East 140th Site. Workers were beaten by company thugs because they wanted to unionize and as a result helped created the United Auto Workers (UAW).
Moreso, I have heard the stories firsthand from the old time civil rights workers who walked with Dr. King on what they went through in the Deep South and unfortunately, sometimes in the north; the beatings, the inability to vote without passing a test or paying a poll tax, the indignities, the lack of basic respect, and yes, the murders and lynching's because of one’s color, religion or ethnic origin.
I could go on, but I hope you get the point. In America in 2016 it is not just about us. It is about our children and our grandchildren and where our nation is going, and how we are going to get there. It is also about the past – “Lest we Forget” the sacrifices – so that we, as Americans – can vote for whomever we want regardless of our political affiliations. Yes, my Brothers and Sisters, I VOTE and I will always VOTE. In fact, I have voted by mail already.
STAND UP AND BE COUNTED OR FOREVER BE UNHEARD. Exercise your constitutional right to vote! Let’s have a safe Election Day and here’s to a great turnout in Ward 8 and the Greater Collinwood Community.
As always I may be reached at my office at (216) 664-4236 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Michael D. Polensek
Resident of neighborhood since 1956. Worked on East 185th street since 1970.