The Presidential Pursuit of Happiness

EngagingCities endorses you, the American people, for the esteemed role of choosing our next President.

As election day approaches, we at EngagingCities are troubled by the divisive nature of the 2016 presidential campaign, and we are compelled to speak out in support of our mission and values.

We believe community fabric is stronger than the contentious and often spiteful political rhetoric we have heard for the last six months. We believe that people are kind, intelligent, reasonable, and compassionate by nature, and that campaign messaging should therefore be aspirational and constructive rather than personal and insulting. And we believe in and support America’s determination to chart a bold and common course for our country’s future.

We understand the tendency to categorize administrations as either successes or failures, but the truth, of course, is more nuanced and complicated. Success and failure are in the eye of the beholder: some Americans are excited about our current path and are lamenting the end of eight years of inspiration, while others crave change and are left frustrated without a candidate who represents their needs and viewpoints. No matter your personal ideals, change is inevitable; this election is a choice about what kind of person is qualified to lead our great nation through these changing times.

The Declaration of Independence says the role of government is to “secure the inalienable rights to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.” As a democratic nation, we are understandably and inherently predisposed to differences of opinion about how those core rights should be protected. This is where our endorsement of you, our readers, becomes paramount, for history has taught us that change at any cost can result in a very high price.

As an organization working to advance innovation in local government, EngagingCities is proud to share stories of open collaboration, we-761801_1280triumphant accomplishment, and lasting vitality. We are continually inspired by the commitment to civic education, inclusiveness, and transparency displayed by local governments nationwide, and we believe those values form a social fabric that is strong, vibrant, and equitable. We support and encourage the efforts of communities whose fabrics have changed irreversibly in recent years, leaving them to redefine their identity and value in an ever-changing and exceptionally competitive economy. And we believe that every community has the potential for greatness when voters elect representatives who heed and prioritize communal concerns over personal gain.

For these reasons, we advocate for you, the American people, as you prepare to exercise your right, privilege, and responsibility to vote. We ask that you bring the same openness and sense of purpose to this national conversation that we see displayed so profoundly in your local communities. On November 8th, we urge you to vote from a place of compassion, optimism and strength. Leave the months of fear mongering, insults, and bombast behind, and squeeze all of your hopes and goals for our country into that one tiny mark. Your voice, your vote, matters: they form the threads that will weave the fabric of America’s bright future.

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