Honorable Cranbury Township Committee Members:
“All politics are local.” is a phrase former House Speaker Tip O'Neill is reputed to have coined. While people continue to have differing interpretations as to the meaning of that famous phrase, it remains clear that small local changes can and do have profound impacts on the health and welfare of our nation. Anyone paying even casual attention to national events will be well aware of the importance that literacy, reading, a knowledge of history & current events, access to differing opinions, and the ability to access reliable fact-checked information are for participation in our democracy.
“All literacy is local” is a phrase that is equally meaningful for me. I believe that it means that we, as citizens of our great nation, have a responsibility to educate all of our children to read. I believe it means that we must make available to our all of our citizens, regardless of background, or wealth, or privilege, information in all of its various forms, such that they can wisely participate in our democratic system of government. I believe it means that we must provide forums in which public discourse can occur, where people of differing ethnic backgrounds, traditions, and beliefs can openly and peacefully exchange ideas. To have a place where we can share our experiences, and our knowledge, for the benefit of all.
You as sitting member of the Township Committee have a rare opportunity to make a meaningful difference. You have in your hands the opportunity to repay all of those who came before you, in an unbroken chain from Benjamin Franklin on, in providing future generations with the same gifts provided to you. You have the opportunity to make an important contribution to the welfare of our great nation by acting to provide our community with one of the founding elements that has made our nation great.
I encourage you, I challenge you, to find a way to break ground this fall on a free standing public library in the heart of our community. I believe we owe it to the future, I hope you agree.