Niagara Gazette — This week’s “Fat Tuesday” was filled with opportunities to listen and reflect upon life in our city, our nation and ourselves. The President of the United States of America and the Mayor of the City of Lockport gave the respective State of the Union Address, and the State of the City Address, on the same day.
As a member of the Rotary Club of Lockport, I had the privilege of hearing the mayor’s address in person. As the owner of a DVR, I was able to watch a recording of the president’s address at a later time. I was impressed by the content of both presentations, and encouraged by the possibilities they presented.
In his opening remarks, Mayor Mike Tucker stated that “Our city is strong, and its future is bright”. As I listened to the plans for 2013 coupled with the accomplishments of the past, I found myself filled with hope. For more than two decades, my family and I have resided in Lockport. Despite its imperfections, I feel like I have been watching the gradual ‘rebirth’ of a city.
Main Street has received a ‘face-lift’ over the years, and friends and family of mine, from out of town, have commented on its quaint historic beauty. It has been a delight to discover and explore the many new businesses downtown. I have never been at a loss to take visitors to the many historic attractions that Lockport has to offer: the Locks of the Erie Canal, the Canal Discovery Center, the Market Street Art Gallery, and the Kenan Center for Art & Recreation, to name a few.
For a number of years, I interviewed Mayor Tucker each month on one of LCTV’s government talk shows. We discussed a lot of the projects that he shared in his speech, at their earliest stages of development. It is exciting to hear how many of them will be nearing fruition in 2013.
In his address, the mayor stated that more than 750,000 people visit Lockport for the concert series, and that the new recycling program has already saved the city nearly $500,000. None of these programs could have taken place without the co-operation of numerous entities. It takes more than one individual to make a successful city—it takes a community.
In his State of the Union Address, President Obama spoke often of the need for co-operation in Congress. He opened his remarks with a quote from President John F. Kennedy, “the Constitution makes us not rivals for power but partners for progress. … It is my task, to report the State of the Union—to improve it is the task of us all.”
The president further stated that “The American people …don’t expect those of us in this chamber to agree on every issue. But they do expect us to put the nation’s interests before party. They do expect us to forge reasonable compromise where we can. … America moves forward only when we do so together; and that the responsibility of improving this union remains the task of us all.”
The need for co-operation in order to achieve the greater good for our nation is not new. If we are to strive for excellence in a country as vast and as diverse as our United States, we must find a way to work together — even when we don’t agree on absolutely everything.
Jackie Davis is an inspirational vocalist, musician and speaker with over 20 years of television broadcast experience. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.