It is our Democratic process that permits us to freely petition our elected governmental representatives to address an issue that could potentially damage our property and take away from its value. It is our Constitution and our First Amendment rights that allow us the free exercise to peaceably assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. Should our own Virginia Beach City government be included in this right to “petition the Government”? I proclaim most strongly “yes” and have, as have so many others, put it all on the line to support and defend our Constitutional Rights.
Should a city appointed board tasked with making recommendations to resolve significant issues accept statements from the city’s staff, but not permit assembled citizens the right to state their position or to redress staff statements? Should derogatory statements that “there is much misinformation out there” be accepted without challenge from the board when the assembled are not permitted to speak to address the sources of that information?
To many citizens, these issues may be of small importance or no consequence, but I think it is vitally important. If we do not hold our local government accountable to us, we perch ourselves on the point of becoming irrelevant as free people with the power to elect. We merely become payer of taxes, not the proponent of our Rights. The rights exercised by City government are as important to us as the headwaters of a river. We must all be engaged and involved. It is our elected government whether it be city, state or Federal. We deserve what we get.