Vail Valley Voices: Faith in our system wavers
Vail, CO, Colorado
Thanksgiving was always my favorite holiday even as a kid. It could have been the full day of football, good food, or the enjoyment of being around family with no distraction of piles of presents.
Mostly, though, I enjoyed a day of thanks and I believe I was always grateful to have been born and to grow up in America.
My husband is from Germany, and he finds it strange how proud Americans are to be American. I agree with him that it is hard to define the reasons why we are so proud. But proud I am, nonetheless, even though as this Thanksgiving nears, my faith in all that is America is wavering.
Over the past few years being involved in Eagle politics, the very essence of my feeling American has been tested. Until 18 months after the majority of citizens voted no in January 2010, I always felt my vote mattered. It was not until I sat at meetings starting in the summer of 2011 where it was stated by the Town Board and staff that Eagle River Station 2.0 has not substantially changed that I began to doubt my place in our country.
Although I have taken more and more pride in getting that “I voted” sticker as I get older, I am seriously considering never voting again.
It seems our entire political system has only become about the deep pockets, competing against instead of working with our neighbors, and wearing out those citizens who try to be involved.
I find it incredulous that there is no organization in Colorado that can explain who we citizens can go to for an answer of why a special referendum is null and void because we are reviewing a project that has not substantially changed. And I find it absurd that the only way a citizens group can be heard is to spend thousands of dollars to hire a lawyer.
If our voice does not matter after a few years and a special referendum in Eagle, how can we expect to be heard all the way in Washington? And if our voices as citizens are not heard, can we still be proud and thankful to be Americans?
I have thought for several years that Thanksgiving was not what it once was in my heart because my family is far away. But as the Eagle River Station hearings begin again and at such an aggressive pace, I think it is because I’m starting to feel like I no longer matter as a citizen in this great country.
I don’t think I will Occupy Eagle, but instead I will just assume my voice no longer matters and give up, as so many in the community and the country seem to have already done.
But since I am an eternal optimist at heart, I will struggle with that concept of giving up. So until then, I’ll continue to hold out small hope that a citizen’s voice will once again matter not only in Eagle but all across these great states.
This Thanksgiving holiday, I’ll even be thankful to Red Development. It is only because of their purchase of that land east of Eagle that I have had the privilege to get to know some incredible individuals in our wonderful community.
See ya’ll at Town Hall!
Brandi Resa is a citizen advocate in Eagle and can be reached through the website http://www.allabouteagle.com