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TRANSCRIPT: “Ending Stop-and-Frisk…in the City of Pittsburgh” (Starting Point, Jan 16 2015)

In Speeches on January 19, 2015 at 6:18 pm
Stop-and-Frisk-is-a-crime1

“Considering the fact that the shooting of Leon Ford Jr. was a result of stop-and-frisk tactics and the assault on Jordan Miles was a result of stop-and-frisk tactics, coupled with the fact that the City of Pittsburgh has paid out hundreds of thousands of dollars over the past couple of years due to lawsuits involving the police – is Stop-and-Frisk really something that we should continue in our beloved city, especially when empirical evidence shows that roughly 9 out of 10 Stop-and-Frisk incidents end without an arrest or a capture of illegal guns?”

PITTSBURGH: (JANUARY 19, 2015 – MLK DAY) Transcript of Lenny McAllister’s “Starting Point” concerning the end of Stop-And Frisk” tactics in the City of Pittsburgh.

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We begin with a Starting Point that looks back at a special get to the point episode, one where we welcomed new Pittsburgh Police Chief Cameron McLay to the Get To the Point Panel along with NOBLE’s Professor Gregory Rogers and Pitts’s Dr. Waverly Duck.

 

With all of the national headlines and local controversies aside, I found Chief McLay to be educated, articulate, skilled, and refreshing as he brings his leadership style to the City of Pittsburgh’s Police Bureau. I believe that, through tough conversations and courageous action, communities throughout the city and the police can work through mistrust and misunderstandings in order to keep Pittsburghers safe on both sides of the badge. With that in mind, however, two major developments over the past several weeks – including those that have come about after appearing on this show on January 9th – have shown us how far we must go as a city to heal wounds, protect citizens, and honor the constitutional rights of all of us across different neighborhoods and demographics.

 

The first development comes from a revamped dispute over the common sense tweet sent out by Chief McLay on new year’s eve – the tweet that got him national acclaim and heated rebuke from Pittsburgh’s chapter of the fraternal order of police. After a written apology by McLay on January 2nd and the chief’s admission on this show that the F.O.P. And he were on the same page by January 9th, the chief subsequently shut down his twitter account after a reported meeting with the head of the F.O.P. -Howard McQuillen – on January 14th and issued a memo that same day advising officers not to share information outside the ranks including with media under threat of discipline up to and including termination. The shutting down of transparency and open accountability after McLay’s newsworthy tweet also includes the inconvenient fact that his twitter account was actually shut down on January 13th, not after the meeting on the 14th – which leads to the second development.

 

After viewers saw the #EndWhiteSilence police chief on the Get To The Point panel last week (January 9) publicly defend the use of stop-and-frisk tactics in the City of Pittsburgh – a police procedure that has led to protests from New York City to Oakland – some in social media and grassroots communities began to question how a man committed to ending racism at his workplace was also justifying the use of the racially-controversial tactic of Stop-and-Frisk as a necessary tool for police officers. Even Chief McLay himself said in December that only 3 to 5 percent of the black community makes up the trouble-makers we all seek to bring to justice. Yet, in Pittsburgh, African-Americans make up over 62 percent of the warrantless searches – that is, Stop-and-Frisk searches – despite being only 26 percent of Pittsburgh’s population. Considering the fact that the shooting of Leon Ford Jr. was a result of stop-and-frisk tactics and the assault on Jordan Miles was a result of stop-and-frisk tactics, coupled with the fact that the City of Pittsburgh has paid out hundreds of thousands of dollars over the past couple of years due to lawsuits involving the police – is Stop-and-Frisk really something that we should continue in our beloved city, especially when empirical evidence shows that roughly 9 out of 10 Stop-and-Frisk incidents end without an arrest or a capture of illegal guns?

 

Now, I don’t believe that Chief McLay is a racist and I don’t believe that the major of police officers are racists – I said that last Friday, and I emphatically say that again tonight. However, it is impractical and almost impossible to commit to ending racism, sexism, or any form of systematic hatred that may be found within police ranks – or anywhere in the workplaces of America – if we also simultaneously justify any tool, policy, or behavior that enforces the hatred we seek to overcome. We need both sides of the badge to be safe everyday, but we also must adhere to the tenets of our nation, including the Fourth Amendment regarding illegal searches because – after all – thousands of Americans in blue have died serving us as police officers, just as millions of Americans have died in uniform defending the sovereignty of the United States and the Constitution we hold dear.

 

After Chief McLay’s recent welcome to Pittsburgh, national attention due to his common sense tweet – which I still defend – and his appearance last week on the Get to the Point Panel, it’s clear that we need consistent and forthright transparency from our police forces, both here in Pittsburgh and around the nation. Without it, the crisis of confidence may remain validly intact. Further, it’s self-evident that we must continue the dialogue about police practices if we are going to bridge the divide between communities of color and police officers, especially here in home.

 

The thousands of protesters across our region, our nation, and the globe have made it clear: #blacklivesmatter – and the continued use of Stop-and-Frisk is a non-starter for dialogue and partnerships with urban communities. If Chief McLay is to be successful healing the divide between communities of color and the police, Stop-and-Frisk must immediately become a flaw from our past here in Pittsburgh, not a racially-flawed and controversial part of our future. Warrantless searches – Stop-and-Frisk – must officially cease in the City of Pittsburgh where it’s applied 62 percent of the time against 26 percent of the city where the police force is going after only 1 percent of the population that’s actually committing crime.

 

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. It’s fitting that as we sit on the eve of MLK Day weekend, we have the power to fulfill his words and legacy by addressing and ending a reality that marks the gloom of inconsistency, mistrust, and divisiveness. It’s time for a return to the sunlight of our constitutional protections as American citizens, our civil rights legacy as proud neighbors, and better days ahead as #OneBigTeam. That starts with ending Stop-and-Frisk here in the City of Pittsburgh.”

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Starting Point (December 5, 2014): “NightTalk: Get to the Point”

In Speeches, Video on December 7, 2014 at 1:18 pm
“Are we willing to make this moment about police treatment in urban areas or understand that these tragedies are a symptom of the dual expectations found in the employment, economics, education, healthcare, and criminal justice systems of America?”

“Are we willing to make this moment about police treatment in urban areas or understand that these tragedies are a symptom of the dual expectations found in the employment, economics, education, healthcare, and criminal justice systems of America?”

PITTSBURGH (December 5, 2014) – (Pittsburgh Cable News Channel)

Generally, people are willing to champion popular civil rights rhetoric from the past yet few are willing to mustard true civil rights courage for today. Perhaps that trend is changing now – before more people are harassed, assaulted, and harmed by a system that calls us all equal on paper, but only on paper. The mighty pen can call us equal – but only a mighty people and a just people can make it so.”

Catch Lenny’s “Starting Point” as he gives his thoughts before talking with the Get To The Point Panel (joined by Dr. Jason Johnson, Jasiri X, and The Rev. Ricky Burgess) concerning the concerns and protests that continue to rise throughout the nation. Watch “NightTalk: Get to the Point” on the Pittsburgh Cable News Channel Fridays at 8pm, Sundays at 10pm, and Mondays at 5pm.

 

Watch Lenny’s latest Starting Point by clicking the picture above or by clicking HERE

McAllister Statement on Twitter Blackout

In Speeches on July 13, 2013 at 2:18 pm

Black_Twitter

CHICAGO (July 13, 2013) — Lenny McAllister, upon participating in the “black out” in social media, issued the following statement:

“I have decided, although I am just one of many vocal Black conservatives throughout the United States, that it is important for me as one within that number to participate in the ‘black out’ that is occurring on Twitter and social media during the George Zimmerman deliberations.

“My black Twitter avatar and Facebook profile are part of an overall effort to bring awareness, action, and advancement to issues that are pulling this nation away from its promise of greatness for all of its citizens.

“Many are taking part in the ‘black out’ as a sign of solidarity in hopes of a guilty verdict in this case. I am taking part of this symbol as an expression of the deeper meaning interwoven in this case and the overlooked troubles we face as a diverse nation.

“Until more conservatives – conservative thought leaders, conservative commentators, conservative activists, conservative candidates, and conservative legislators – take to heart the malevolent realities of racially-charged social practices such as racial profiling (that prompts an inversion of ‘innocent until proven guilty’ as afforded by the Constitution), ‘stop-and-frisk’ ‘police measures, incidents of ‘driving while Black’, and other divisive procedures and customs that weaken our nation fabric, we will continue to be a nation that is ripping apart at the seams socially, economically, and morally.

“Race is a real issue in modern-day America. We have seen it in the double-unemployment rate for years now. We see it in education. We see it with the evolution of the ‘new Jim Crow’ with the prison industrial complex. We have seen it through tragedies such as the Jonny Gammage killing in my native Pittsburgh. We have seen it with Black men dying unnecessarily – through urban plight conditions and its aftermath as well as high-profile situations that make us question where we are as a nation regarding race in the 21st century – over recent years. The Trayvon Martin tragedy has merely served as another example that shines our shameful reflection back at us through a series of comments, sentiments, and similar tragedies that highlight the pain felt on all sides due to our common cancer.

“True statesmen and leaders – be them conservatives or otherwise – should not run away from this reality. If we are called to lead, we must also be called to heal and resolve rudimentary issues that necessitate a healing. We cannot heal anything if we refuse to meet the bar of acknowledging, investigating, analyzing, and addressing any dysfunctional condition hindering us with a sense of social responsibility, intellectual honesty, and historical accountability. Sadly, too many of us conservatives over recent years – and most notably concerning the viewpoints and statements expressed over the past year concerning the tragedy of February 26, 2012 – have failed to meet this standard. My small action seeks to remind us as a teammate within the conservative faction that we are collectively better than what we have collectively exhibited to date. Further, we are called by God and country to do better for the sake of God’s Will and our country’s future. I believe that, in time, we can and will. Thus, I ask more conservatives to accept the call of history and the challenge to be great in healing our divisiveness in a manner we have not seen for some time now in urban America and throughout our nation’s powerful diversity.”

TCNGB (Take Care N God Bless)

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Political commentator and community advocate Lenny McAllister is the “Working Man’s Conservative” currently working to make his hometown of Chicago and our proud nation better by working together as #OneBigTeam.

For more information, go to http://www.LennyMcAllister.com

or call 773-492-0509

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McAllister Statement on Student Loan Increases

In Speeches on July 1, 2013 at 11:34 am
studentloan

“The last thing that struggling American families can afford is to see the rates for Stafford loans double, yet this is the reality that we are faced with starting today….(through) a standard for congressional leadership that highlights the disconnect many on Capitol Hill have from the American people…”

CHICAGO (July 1, 2013) — Lenny McAllister, upon the doubling of interest rates on new federally-subsidized Stafford loans starting Monday, issued the following statement:

 

“Far too often in these recent political times, we find that Congress has found the inability to garner the creative leadership and the legislative patriotism necessary to save America’s youth from chronic unemployment, mounting national debt, and diminishing educational pathways to procure the prosperity they deserve.  Today, we as a nation have collectively failed them once again, placing another unnecessary burden upon their backs due to our inability to act within reasonable timeframes and create legislation that facilitates growth and success.

 

“The last thing that struggling American families can afford is to see the rates for Stafford loans double, yet this is the reality that we are faced with starting today. Both sides of the political aisle have again missed the bar, instead putting into place a standard for congressional leadership that highlights the disconnect many on Capitol Hill have from the American people, the everyday citizen that works hard and expects results from themselves and from their representative government.

 

“Like with the sequester, leadership has failed to satisfy the legislative needs of the people before a previously self-imposed deadline was met. As with the sequester, we cannot afford to keep this economically-inhibitive standard in place. We can only move past this point through a common sense approach that makes sure that American students can secure the education necessary. Through this, we empower our future with the resources necessary to allow the United States to remain the preeminent economic and technological power in the world throughout the remainder of this century.

 

“We need good, pliable, and smart legislation immediately. We need a bill that takes into consideration the diversity of economic needs, family backgrounds, and future employment opportunities that we find within today’s American student base.

 

“Any plan that seeks to make a profit from the federal student loan program, despite its good intentions to address the federal deficit, fails to understand the true role of government. We may run government like a business, but government is never to be a profit-driven entity, notably and especially making money off of the backs of those that need the latitude required to grow into our leaders for years to come. The shareholders of the United States of America are its struggling citizens, not profit-incented investors. Therefore, we must always remember that we reduce the deficit through fostering the growth of jobs and hard-working taxpayers, not through encouraging rate hikes on the backs of those that are already struggling to pay for a competitive education.

 

“Any plan that sees doing the status quo as viable is not watching the mounting debt that threatens our national sovereignty and place within the global community. As with the Affordable Care Act, any process that chases runaway costs with additional government spending instead of addressing both the cost and spending ends of this confounding equation facing higher education today misses the crux of the situation. We must put a long-term solution into place that creates a stronger return revenue flow back into the coffers of the federal student loan program while making sure that graduates can be both good loan borrowers – paying back these loans on time – while also being good consumers as well, able to buy homes, cars, and other goods that bolster our economy. For America to remain the beacon of hope for the world to see moving onward, we must make sure that higher education is the great equalizer that is economically accessible across our American diversity for years to come.

 

“Perhaps, with new leadership, those that are focused on accomplishing tasks through humble service and not accumulating partisan style points through continued bickering can finally solve these types of issues so that the students of today can be the unencumbered consumers, innovators, job-creators, and leaders of tomorrow.

 

“May God guide us towards finally some common sense common ground for the sake of empowering America’s future leaders today and may He bless the United States of America.”

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Political commentator and community advocate Lenny McAllister is the “Working Man’s Conservative” currently working to make his hometown of Chicago and our proud nation better by working together as #OneBigTeam.

For more information, go to http://www.LennyMcAllister.com or call 773-492-0509

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McAllister Statement on SCOTUS Decisions from June 24-25

In Speeches on June 25, 2013 at 3:39 pm
vote

“…voting discrimination still exists; no one doubts that…” – Chief Justice John Roberts
“…as for holistic review, if universities cannot explicitly include race as a factor, many may ‘resort to camouflage’ to maintain their minority enrollment.” – Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg

 

CHICAGO (June 25, 2013) — Lenny McAllister, upon the release of the recent Supreme Court decisions concerning Affirmative Action and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, issued the following statement:

 

“Chief Justice John Roberts got it right with one simple yet profound statement from his majority opinion Tuesday:

 

‘…voting discrimination still exists; no one doubts that…’

 

“Coupling this admission with the reality that America is on a path of widening racial disparities and increasing social divisiveness, it is clear that we must be mindful of any law written in our current time that may threaten the progress that we have garnered through the blood, sweat, and tears of our forefathers from the recent past.

 

“Technically, the Supreme Court decisions from Monday and Tuesday concerning Affirmative Action and Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act may have been viable legally. Indeed, we do live in very different times from the volatile 1950s and 1960s, a time when children were bombed and bitten by police dogs while leaders were shot down in the streets – all during a struggle to secure the promise of the American Dream for all American citizens. Therefore, applying the standards of those times– times that ushered in the direct twilight of Jim Crow in America – without modern contextualization do not unequivocally address the challenges we face in the Era of Obama and the issues of diversity of the American 21st century.

 

“However, it would be utterly unwise in the aftermath of the rise of hate groups enrollment, suspiciously-contrived voter ID laws, and 40 years of double unemployment rates between Black Americans and White Americans for us as a nation to believe that this is the proper time to diminish the protection that historically-disadvantaged Americans need for proper equal access to the ballot box and quality education – two much-needed resources in today’s challenging times. The implications of this week’s decisions do highlight that we as a nation have made progress in regards to race relations since the 1960s and 1970s. At the same time, in light of the startling disparities in personal wealth, the de facto re-segregation of public schools, the imbalance within drop-outs and  incarceration rates, admissions of intention for some recent voter ID legislation, and the skyrocketing cost of globally-competitive education today, any thought – judicial or legislative- that purports that the day has come to sunset Affirmative Action in education or suffrage is perhaps a notion construed with a forgetfulness towards recent history, a blind eye to the developments within today’s communities, or a jaundiced view towards which citizens should have accessibility to the fullest of the American Dream.

 

“If the highest Court in the land is evolving to view the progress of the Civil Rights Movement in a 21st century context, then it is prudent that voters and legislators conscientiously react in kind. Republicans must responsibly legislate when promoting ground-breaking and potentially-controversial laws, doing so with a morality standing outside of the realm of intention that we encountered with laws such as Pennsylvania’s 2012 voter ID law.   Democrats must dutifully legislate with a sense of historical progress without cleaving to broken political models which now yield stale results for their constituents. Voters throughout the American electorate must take the Supreme Court’s recent decisions as indicators suggesting that their votes – for elected officials from Capitol Hill to local board members – now carry an additional gravitas. Therefore, we as Americans must educate, engage, and inspire ourselves and our fellow Americans towards a higher sense of civic involvement and responsibility to ensure that our nation can rebound, advance, and succeed as one big team throughout our diversity. Collectively, if any legal protections that bolster equal access to the American Dream are eroded in the courts, it is imperative that we as a citizenship outside of the courts act as the buttress sustaining equality in America without fail.

 

“May God guide us towards these goals of upholding justice and equality in America in light of these decisions and may He bless the United States of America.”

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Political commentator and community advocate Lenny McAllister is the “Working Man’s Conservative” currently working to make his hometown of Chicago and our proud nation better by working together as #OneBigTeam.

For more information, go to http://www.LennyMcAllister.com or call 773-492-0509

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McAllister Addresses Conference for Inaugural MCAPP Event in Indiana

In Speeches on April 14, 2013 at 1:05 pm
“…are we promoting our political positions as conservatives to minorities in America because we love these communities and because we love America – or are we parading ourselves as Black and minority conservatives because it makes us the flavor of the month in the eyes of the national media?”

Lenny speaking at MCAPP #3 (pencil sketch) (April 13 2013)

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (April 13, 2013) — Lenny McAllister at the first annual conference held by the Minority Coalition for Alternatives to Public Policy (MCAPP), held in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Below are his written remarks:

The theme today for MCAPP (the Minority Coalition for Alternatives in Public Policy) is “Truth – Empowerment – Choice.”

We know that one of our goals politically is to bring the message of political choice to more minority voters. We know that we want to be successful at this mission and, moreso, we believe that it is of utmost importance that we must be successful at this mission. America cannot grow into its fullest potential if we continue to leave behind scores of young talents and countless amounts of human capital – undeveloped thought leaders and uncultivated innovators that we let wither on the vine due to our civic and political failures.

We know that we want to facilitate empowerment for our communities, especially many of our minority communities that are hurting, detached, disillusioned, and left behind in the ashes of the aftermath of what some call progress. We know that we cannot empower the United States of America to overcome national debt, civic divisiveness, and political corruption and mistrust until we empower more people to overcome the personal recessions we face during the Great Recession. If more minorities are not empowered through access to a stronger economy or better schools, we know that our advocacy for personal accountability and empowerment is nothing more than a message faulting a slew of go-cart racers for their inability to win in the Indianapolis 500.

This gets us to Truth.

If we are going to bring the joy of personal empowerment and the freedom of empowering political choice, we have to begin speaking truth – amongst ourselves as conservatives, amongst ourselves as minorities, and amongst ourselves as hurting Americans.

We bring a lot of truth in regards to what the Republican Party’s history is. Rand Paul did that just this past week at Howard University. We bring a lot of truth when it comes to the one-off treatment we as minority conservatives get from minority and youth communities throughout America, particularly in the Era of Obama. We bring a lot of truth when it comes to the fiscal numbers, urban violence statistics, and unemployment rates that impact minority communities, particularly those that are under rigid Democratic political control.

We speak a lot of truth at a lot of people already. Yet, it is not enough, as we already know. Speaking truth at people is hardly a model for true success when we fail to truly communicate with people.

What we refuse to do – and what I want to do briefly today – is speak to truth…about the do’s and don’t’s that will enable us to bridge our communities – particularly, our hurting communities in areas where minorities are lagging behind in the pursuit of the American Dream – to a better way of life.

Folks, let me ask a very simple question: are we promoting our political positions as conservatives to minorities in America because we love these communities and because we love America – or are we parading ourselves as Black and minority conservatives because it makes us the flavor of the month in the eyes of the national media?

This is not an attack on any one person in this room. Instead, it is a question that each one of us – including me – must ask every single morning before we open our mouths, tweet our first message, or write our first political blog post of the day.

If we are not on this mission…this mission to bring the conservative message to minority voters as a viable, hope-giving, and life-improving choice that offers a new sense of empowerment and success…if we are not on this mission because you love our communities, then you are truly a traitor to our communities and deserve all of the scorn that you receive from those communities as a Black conservative.

At the same time, if you truly do love our communities – and this love is what drives you to act politically and civically as conservatives – then the only thing that will allow you to strive and have success in our mission past the scorn, name-calling, isolation, and personal threats will be that love of our communities.

Nothing else will do. And that truth must ring true in every message, every tone, and every position that we take as conservatives to the hurting minority communities we engage moving onward from here.

And, out of love of America and for our communities, we must always remember that we are dealing with thousands – in fact, millions – of Americans in pain, folks that have been hurting for years, if not for generations.

Let’s be clear – that is the mission: turning around these realities of pain with a truth that is rooted in love and sprouted with a political choice that will empower them for better lives for themselves, their children and their grandchildren.

For years, we want to talk to people that we call “emotional voters” with facts and figures, only to wonder why they have no connection with us. For the future, it’s time that we talk to those voters with genuine concern and lasting relationships, so that they know we care about them as Americans, not just American voters.

If historical and economic facts and figures are the proverbial roof to keep our communities safe and secure through conservative policies, we must not fail to make the foundation of the building be genuine civic and personal love.

Love speaks in warmth to people that are hurting. Speaking solely with fiery passion or angry tones often only festers the wounds. Speaking in anger about the actions of Democrats during Jim Crow has never made a collection of Black voters forget about Southern Strategy and the Willie Horton and Jeremiah Wright ads. Speaking in anger has never made a person put aside their pain long enough to listen to a new idea or envision a better way of life. Speaking in anger rarely offers the promise of healing that broken people crave. It simply only justifies hurt, not replace it with something more.

We are healers. We are here to replace the pain with prosperity through our principles and subsequent solutions.

Love speaks of vision and direction. It inspires the hopeless to new realities and offers a hand of truth and relationship to those that have been abandoned for years by both parties.

Love facilitates political savvyness. It prompts genuine communication. It forces us to stop talking at people and start speaking with people.

Love is the spark that lights the fire of passion that great political leaders use to illuminate a new path for the disillusioned. It allows us to understand the psyche of pain, the depth of desperation, and the longing for better options that most within our communities face.

And, trust me: they want better options. They want us to succeed.

Therefore, our truth today is: we have to do this better.  Our love for our communities is the only thing that shows our genuine desire to be a positive difference in our communities.  Right now,  that failure to reflect that genuine concern is the flaw that keeps us from connecting with these communities as a viable political option for civic and electoral leadership.

It is imperative that we show enough love for our communities – our people…our fellow Americans. We must begin to engage them and accept them where they are right now. Talking down to the downtrodden only keeps them in the ditch of the side of the road of society. They did not get there overnight, so we have to love them enough to meet them where they are politically right now and be there consistently over time until they get to where we hope they will be – back on the road that pursues the American Dream.

We have to love them enough to have real relationships with the communities, not just have 90-day long political engagements with communities. We must be present in the communities always, not just parachute into key precincts every September. That means fighting for our communities in April and breaking bread with them during Juneteenth celebrations. That means embracing their mistrust of us whole-heartedly until they see us as brothers and sisters, not sellouts and minstrel shows. That means that we must always avoid the slightest bit of condescension, judgment, and haughtiness when we talk, even when we are met initially with ridicule and contempt.

As minority conservatives working with minority voters, we are clearly in the life-or-death business. The power of life and death – politically, civically, and…in many cases…literally – rests in your tongues. Never forget that, for that is a truth that can lead thousands to political empowerment and choice or continue to keep them at arm’s length from us.

Our task is to foster leadership and widespread prosperity, not continue the divide and maintain the despair.

The truth is: we need to foster relationships out of love for these communities that will outlast the media trends and partisan name-calling. And, to be sure: relationships are not 1-directional or are they 1-dimensional. They are not constructs that allow some to speak down to others about history, economy, or partisanship. Relationships – and notably the ones we must create and maintain to change America for the better in minority communities – are ones that are both mutually beneficial and mutually respectful. Until we are consistently capable of showing the benefits of minorities having ongoing relationships with political conservatives, we will never win the benefit of minority voters’ ongoing support at the ballot box, in the mainstream media, and in the daily discussions in our communities.  If we don’t really show that we care, they will never really accept any amount of facts and figures from us. Without the foundation of civic and personal love, the historical and economic roof of great facts and figures will simply blow around aimlessly in the political winds.

We can – and we will – change this, though, through the leadership of organizations such as MCAPP.

We can do it. We can – and will – get a new truth out there that will empower minorities with a new choice moving onward.

We will do it through talking about our love for new business growth in urban areas and our desire for better schools of all kinds in our neighborhoods instead of wasting time talking about our hatred for public schools, poverty pimps, and the Democratic Plantation.

We will do it through creating and discussing empowering

solutions for the future that will shine on for the next 150 years instead of wasting our time talking about political history from 150 years ago during this age of Instant Gratification.

We will do it through inspiring people to think, not prodding them to anger. We will bring truth to them through advocacy, humility, and persistence in addition to sharing with them facts and figures.

We will stand for them in love even when some other conservatives stand against them out of politics, showing all that our definition of justice and constitutionality is not tainted by partisan whims, but colored by the principle of liberty and justice for us.

We will do it by loving our communities enough to embrace all of the pain they feel, the separation they have endured, and the nervousness they have to step into the unknown – and we will be there for them, even when they falter on their journey to a new political reality and a better civic way of life.

Political love can heal. Political language will only continue to divide. We must be healers, MCAPP, not mere politicians. Our goal is to be historic for the sake of saving lives, not be trendy for the sake of making a way of life for ourselves.

Being visible out of expediency will make us popular and give us a chance to have talks.  Being present in this fight out of love will make us historic and give us a chance for meaningful endeavors based on love, trust, and respect – ones that will turn the course of our communities and our nation with political change, civic advancement, and community empowerment.

But the truth is: there is no chance for true political empowerment or a gateway to new political choices if the truth we offer does not reflect a love for our communities in all that we do.  MCAPP, do we love America and our hurting communities to embrace our love for the communities and use politics as a tool to change lives, or do we simply just love politics and hope that communities change their tune?

I believe that each of us is a leader and healer. Therefore, it is time for us to love our communities through politics and be historic with the change in public policies that so many so desperately need.

Thank you for this opportunity to speak with you today. God Bless your efforts as leaders, God Bless the wonderful state of Indiana, and God Bless the United States of America.

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McAllister Statement on the Fiscal Cliff Deal and President Obama’s Remarks (January 1 2013)

In Lenny for Congress, Speeches on January 2, 2013 at 1:24 am
President Obama addresses the nation after the fiscal cliff deal was reached by a vote in the House of Representatives. Read Lenny McAllister's statement on the current deal and its impact on the nation.

President Obama addresses the nation after the fiscal cliff deal was reached by a vote in the House of Representatives. Read Lenny McAllister’s statement on the current deal and its impact on the nation.

WASHINGTON, DC (January 1, 2013) — Lenny McAllister, upon hearing President Obama’s remarks concerning the completion of the fiscal cliff negotiations tonight, issued the following statement:

 

“It is with a sense of national relief and political disappointment that we watch the end result of the fiscal cliff negotiations: an agreement in place that raises taxes on all Americans, raises income taxes on some Americans, and further raises anxiety about America’s spending problems. Increases to spending that add trillions to the nation debt should not be the result of a negotiation that was designed to address America’s ongoing deficit woes as well as our spending problems.

 

“Tonight is not a congratulatory moment, nor is it a cause for celebration. Instead, we watched collectively as a nation as we witnessed yet again the failures from political stubbornness, a reality in status quo partisanship that yields the low levels of confidence Americans have in government and even lower approval ratings our countrymen give Congress today. The tone must change if we are going to reverse the trends we face as a nation.

 

“I am disappointed that President Obama, equipped with the power of renewed political capital by way of his November victory, was unable to commandeer a long-term, bi-partisan solution. Creating situations where America and her economic partners around the world will have more opportunities to watch beltway bickering under another grueling deadline a few mere months away is not leadership that instills confidence during rocky times, especially when the threatening problems of spending and sequestration still loom on the immediate horizon.

 

“Once again, we heard from President Obama a limiting vision, one that focuses too much on economic investment and spending coming from the American federal government, not from the innovative American people. We need legislative solutions that empower both the American middle class through tax policy and our private sector of potential innovators, future business leaders, and resource investors through legislative encouragement so that we can turn around this economy effectively. Policies that focus primarily on increased taxing and spending simply will not be enough to defeat the economic crisis that everyday Americans have faced for years now. We need policies that encourage investment and innovation that stem from a diversity of sources, in a plethora of arrangements and partnerships, which spans the diversity that makes us the strongest and most talented nation the world has ever seen. If President Obama is serious about moving forward (as his re-election campaign slogan suggested), we must move past the notion in Washington that government will lead us out of these economic woes through increased taxing and spending – and we must move past this notion quickly for the sake of struggling Americans, working together as one big team.

 

“Happy New Year to America with the hopes of doing better as a nation, from Washington, DC to the four corners of the country. May God bless you and may He bless the United States of America.”

________________________________________________________________________

Political commentator and community advocate Lenny McAllister is the “Working Man’s Conservative” currently seeking office in Illinois’ vacant 2nd Congressional District seat.

For more information, go to LennyForCongress.com or call 773-492-0509.

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McAllister Statement on the 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation

In Articles, Lenny for Congress, Speeches on January 1, 2013 at 2:07 pm
The Emancipation Proclamation went into effect January 1, 1863. Read Lenny McAllister's call to action 150 years later.

The Emancipation Proclamation went into effect January 1, 1863. Read Lenny McAllister’s call to action 150 years later.

CHICAGO (January 1, 2013) — Lenny McAllister, upon the national remembrance of the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, issued the following statement:

 

“150 years ago, on January 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln, through a move wrought by wartime shrewdness and political courage, officially declared freedom for Black people in America that were suffering the inhumane and inconceivable horrors of daily life as slaves in the American South. By enacting this noble move, President Lincoln showed both tactical expertise for the sake of reuniting the nation and visionary leadership for the sake of its future. With a stroke of the pen, President Lincoln both freed Black people from over 200 years of its shared agony while freeing our nation from decades of moral decay and interstate contention. In essence, the nation forged a new path on January 1, 1863 with the bold move for the sake of improving the quality of life within the United States of America for all.

 

“Now, we stand together, gathered at our own moment in time. Just as Lincoln watched the horrors of war, cultural divide, inhumanity, and hopelessness impact the land that he loved, we look over a divided country that is being torn apart by political squabbling, cultural divisiveness, generational poverty, and anxiety concerning the ongoing negative trends of violence, unemployment, and educational deficiencies. 150 years later, we are called – through the power of words, the steps of a movement, and perhaps the stroke of a pen – to be historic ourselves. We are called to join President Lincoln in the same American quest that he continued with the Emancipation Proclamation: to seek justice in order to form a more perfect union where all men are created equal; to secure the pathways where all Americans are capable of pursuing happiness through liberty; and to enact, whenever necessary, a new resurgence of freedom so that the ideals of this great nation – self-governance and freedom for the people, by the people – shall never perish from the earth.

 

“Therefore, we come in remembrance of President Lincoln’s noble act, but we move onward remembering that his work shall be incomplete if we are insufficient in our efforts starting January 1, 2013. In 1863, Lincoln was called to grant freedom from chattel slavery. Today, we are called to facilitate freedom from economic poverty, political depravity, societal alienation, and educational deficiencies.

 

“We are called to free children bound by the societal limitations of inadequate educational channels, inadequate employment opportunities, and inadequate levels of public safety. We are called to free government by the people from the partisan gridlock and philosophical rigidity that forces too many leaders to forget that we are a nation of diversity across the millions, where our strength is in our freedom and the power within our numbers. We are called to free Americans from the restrictive mindset that what we see today – from our inner-city ghettos to the poor of rural America – is how conditions will always remain. We are called to emancipate modern-day America from the binds that hold us back in the 21st century. We are called to break these binds, some self-created and some from years past, just as Lincoln did 150 years ago.

 

“Today, I commit personally to being visionary enough to see a better reality past the economic, political, and societal carnage we see before us now, just as Lincoln did 150 years ago. Today, I commit personally to being courageous enough to find solutions that make sense for today and empower our communities for tomorrow. Today, I commit personally to being focused enough to see a more perfect union as of now, past our previous disagreements or points of contention. I believe that there are plenty of Americans that will honor President Lincoln and the Emancipation Proclamation with their personal commitments to a better America starting today as well. I welcome us to celebrate Lincoln and the Emancipation Proclamation, not just by looking back on the significance of that moment 150 years ago, but also through keeping daily remembrance of the significance of this moment today for the sake of the next 150 years of this wonderful nation. I look forward to doing so, together, as One Big Team.

 

“May God watch over us all in 2013 and may He bless the United States of America.”

________________________________________________________________________

Political commentator and community advocate Lenny McAllister is the “Working Man’s Conservative” currently seeking office in Illinois’ vacant 2nd Congressional District seat.

For more information, go to LennyForCongress.com or call 773-492-0509.

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Official Statement: Sandy Hook Memorial Service (December 16, 2012)

In Lenny for Congress, Speeches on December 16, 2012 at 11:00 pm

Sandy Brook

CHICAGO (December 16, 2012) — Lenny McAllister, upon hearing the presidential remarks made in Newtown, Connecticut tonight, issued the following statement:

“While we collectively remember the loss of innocence with the flight of our littlest angels from Connecticut last week, the harrowing pain from Sandy Hook is only intensified by the thoughts of the ongoing urban violence that many within Chicago, including those within the Second Congressional District, continue to endure on a frightening regular basis, often in nearby communities to where both President Obama and I call home.

“I commend President Obama for his stately eloquence in delivering the solemn remarks in remembrance of the fallen Americans that we lost at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Friday.

“Just as President Obama is rightfully saddened and angered by having to attend his fourth mass shooting memorial service since becoming president, we Americans must join in that contempt, using our love for our children and their bright potential to secure the future for all of our youth from Sandy Hook to the south side of Chicago. We must push ourselves to action, promising those we lost and those we still have with us a simple vow: that the senseless trend of violence and loss of life cannot be continued any longer throughout America. Through sensible and tempered cooperation as one big team, we can stop the violence and uphold the very best of America without fear and lawlessness impinging upon our lives any longer. We can learn the lessons from the scars of the heart that we have incurred too often over recent times. I know that we will – together – and we will overcome. I look forward to the day when we succeed and I hope that this new dawn comes much sooner than later.

“May God Bless and keep the eternal souls of the heroes and loved ones from Friday’s tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary. May God heal the broken hearts of every family member involved. May God watch over us all and may He bless the United States of America.”

________________________________________________________________________

Political commentator and community advocate Lenny McAllister is the “Working Man’s Conservative” currently seeking office in Illinois’ vacant 2nd Congressional District seat.

For more information, go to LennyForCongress.com or call 773-492-0509.

###

READ TRANSCRIPT: Lenny McAllister at Constitution Day 2012 (Illinois)

In Speeches on September 22, 2012 at 9:33 am

Noted public speaker Lenny McAllister (pictured here with Kellehers Irish Pub and Eatery owner and Illinois State Senate candidate Pat Sullivan) gave impromptu remarks to a crowded house as part of Constitution Day in downstate Illinois.

PEORIA, IL (September 17, 2012): Politic365 Senior Contributor and noted public speaker Lenny McAllister spoke at the Constitution Day 2012 event in downtown Peoria, IL. Despite weather factors inhibiting his ability to give prepared remarks, Lenny gave off-the-cuff remarks to a packed restaurant in an impromptu indoor rally to avoid the late summer storms.

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Lenny’s full prepared remarks can be read below:

“Good afternoon, Tea Party Patriots! Happy Constitution Day. What a day to celebrate triumph after toil!  What a day to embrace freedom after in-fighting!

What a day to remember that rich and poor, White and Black, upstate city folks and downstate grassroots Americans can work together – through passionate debate and the discomfort of social crisis – to make a plan that makes a better America.

We have seen this play out in the Constitution of this great land, from the original formation of the founding document to the Bill of Rights and to other amendments that protected freedom, God’s justice, and our American way of life.

Before I continue, I would be remiss not to give a few shout outs and thank yous. First, a big shout out to all of you.  I love you guys – and I love the great state of Illinois! I am so glad to be back here for a few days.  Thank you for having me here today.  I miss being here in the Land of Lincoln. Yet, I never forget you while I’m toiling for a better America while based in Washington DC.

A few more shout-outs and thank yous. Shout out and thanks to 1470 AM WMBD for having me on their airwaves twice this week. Thanks to Wayne and the Hot Finance Lady for having me on for a fun show yesterday. Thanks to Scott Robbins for another delightful time on his show earlier today. A special shout-out and thank you to my friend and fellow Christian conservative Sheila Devall. Like you, she understands that the heights of government mean nothing if they cannot heed the voice of the grassroots that form the foundation of this nation. Sheila, thanks for being a friend, thanks for having me back here in Peoria despite my recent move to the nation’s capital. I really do appreciate it.

I want to say thank you to a few groups as well. Thank you to Move On Up.org, the conservative-based group out of St. Louis. They will be hosting a fundraiser in Washington DC this Wednesday that will feature Congressman Allen West and several other prominent members within the political forum. Check out their website when you get a chance.  I also want to shout-out organizations such as Don’t Shoot Peoria. Like other communities across the nation, this area is facing a crisis of unnecessary death and terror at the hands of urban violence. It is up to us as conservatives to protect the rights defended in the 2nd Amendment yet also defend the rights discussed in the Declaration of Independence: those rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That only comes with a strong defense of our constitutional rights and strong advocacy for safe schools and neighborhoods. Therefore, I commend organizations and citizens that understand this gentle but necessary balance of freedom and how it works for the sake of a stronger, safer nation.

I would fail the essence of today if I did not encourage us all to say thank you to the thousands of men and women…home and aboard…past and present…that have defended our Constitution by giving their time, resources, intellect, blood, sweat, tears…and sometimes even their very lives. From slain abolitionists to fallen ambassadors…on Constitution Day…we humbly say thank you.

Also, I would be remiss as a father and a husband if I did not acknowledge my ace – my wife Lannie, for her constant encouragement and love. Thank you Alicia and Peace – my two older children – for understanding the challenges and sacrifices they make in supporting my efforts as a humble, servant leader in a toxic political and social time. And thanks to my 2-year-old Neilan for simply being lovable.

We are here today to celebrate the greatness of the United States Constitution, a document that is held in much esteem throughout our land and modeled after – in some regards – by striving democracies throughout the world. Today is a day when our celebration and pride beams from being part of a history that encapsulates the best of freedom and advancement that the earth has ever seen. Yet, it is a day that calls for us to be true to the honesty of our history. It is a day that calls for us to be courageous, not complacent. It is a day for us to claim our humanity, even as we embrace our patriotism. Today is not the day to scrub clean the history surrounding the formation, passage, and amending of the Constitution. Swiping away the flaws from our nation’s forefathers ongoing search for a More Perfect Union only robs us of clues for navigating the flaws of today to establish a more prosperous and righteous nation in the days ahead.

In the 1700s, nation building was not easy work. It was not for the faint of heart. It was only for those willing to sacrifice any and all things necessary to form that more Perfect Union. They angered a king. They took on the empire of the world at that time. Yet, they envisioned a better future for themselves – and after tough times and bitter battles – Americans pressed onward.

In the 1800s, nation saving was not easy work. It was not for those sitting on the sidelines or afraid to fight for the concept of freedom and the continuation of these United States. There was a battle of ideas. There were battles between cousins. There was both liberation and loss of life among thousands of Black slaves. There were acts of treason and an act of assassination. Yet, they envisioned a stronger nation, a bolstered Constitution, and a land full of potential. After tough times and bitter battles – Americans pressed onward.

In the 20th century, nation elevation was not easy work. It was not for those that thought claiming the status of city on a hill included watching cities burn down in Oklahoma and throughout the south over racism or watching furnaces burn in concentration camps throughout Europe. There were confrontations with terrorists both domestic and abroad.

There were times when we stood our Constitution and the American Way of Life up against the Nazi Vision, the Soviet Bloc, and the  Invisible Empire. The Constitution and its values – our values – battled toe-to-toe with ideologies. It went back and forth with statesmen and citizens alike because there is unlimited potential in liberating people from oppression both at home and abroad from unjust laws and unruly political systems. After tough times and bitter battles – Americans and lovers of freedom everywhere pressed onward.

And now, in this election year of 2012, when the distractions of political campaigns and social issues and super PAC advertisements are swirling around you faster than the newest crop of reality shows, we have work to do, particularly as we celebrate Constitution Day today. Nation RE-building in America today – as was the case with nation building, nation saving, and nation elevation – is not easy work. It is not for the faint of heart. It is not for those that seek to sit on the sidelines and hope for the best. It is not for those that love this country, but do not love it enough to live as an empowered, inspired, and active citizen of this country.  It is an active lifestyle, not a spectator sport.

Constitution Day is not a day to merely celebrate the framers of our founding document. It is not a day to merely wave flags or debate the intent of obscure details of the Constitutional Convention or the subsequent language within the founding papers.   Today is a day to remember the toils of the past that worked to shape, mold, amend, and strengthen the Constitution for the sake of a better America. Today is a day to remember that in our modern times, we have to choose this moment to embrace the spirit and longevity of the Constitution in order to rebuild the greatness of these United States – from the grassroots to the general assemblies throughout the land. We choose this moment to do so by way of the enduring principles that inspired our founding document and its amendments. Celebrating the Constitution today prompts us to accept the challenge of nation rebuilding for tomorrow…and ladies and gentlemen…my fellow Americans…nation rebuilding….as was the case with nation building, nation saving, and nation elevation in previous eras …is not for the faint of heart. Yet, it is for us to take on today to press America onward.

Those honored through acknowledging the Constitution today were people that understood the contemporary times in which they lived and the challenges that came with them. Today, we are called and inspired to take up their example.

As with times before, we Americans are facing a bevy of battles before us. We face the onslaught of big government thinking and coddling at the risk of watching the sunset of individual freedoms. We face the abolishment of the melting pot of America as we devolve back to judging each other based on stereotypes, hiring employees based on irrelevant and unjust factors, and personal merit based on culture, not content of character. We face the abyss of permanent fiscal sloth through the works of failing leadership and values, political selfishness, socioeconomic class animosity, and patriotism of convenience.  As with eras from the past, it is time for us in this moment to press our fellow Americans onward through the embodiment and meaning found within the Constitution – from the Bill of Rights to subsequent, liberating amendments.

With complex documents such as the Declaration of Independence and the American Constitution, we can find simple yet profound principles that made the United States of America great, even as our history of imperfect people always continued the ongoing search for a more Perfect Union.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all humans are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness…”

“We the People  of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility… and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our descendents…”

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech…or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances….”

“The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race…and it shall not be denied or abridged…on account of sex…”

Complex documents written by lawyers and statesmen, wealthy men and historic figures. Yet, they were flawed human beings, pushed through conflict and dissension, anger and indignation,  by grassroots Americans such as yourselves here today – all for the sake of procuring that more Perfect Union to press Americans onward.

The beauty in the history of our Constitution is the simplistic premise that it symbolizes. It protects the citizen from an expansion of government that would work to limit the freedoms of the individual. The spirit embodied in the Constitution  always resonated that understanding – from the days immediately after fending off the tyranny of the King of England to the days of beating back the evil expansion of government known in the American South as Jim Crow.

Americans have always understood and taken on the battle that we face today: the battle of big government expansion of power versus individual liberty and limitless potential.

As a nation, we have always understood that smaller government that restraints the threat to liberty that big government creates is the pathway to empowering the most prosperous, diverse, innovative, and complete nation that the world has ever seen.

Smaller government and bigger people…an appropriate role of government and a larger role for Americans to forge a better future for us all….is the best way for our nation – and the only just way to rebuild this great land from Peoria to Pittsburgh, Harlem to Hollywood.

Yet, we see that the haughtiness of modern-day, big government politics has had a toxic impact on the fabric of our nation. We have seen the detachment of policies and politicians alike rip the nation at the seams through rhetoric and overreaching laws.

There’s an erroneous belief that government knows what’s best in all situations, from the passage of a healthcare law that compels the American people to involuntarily buy a product for the first time in American history…to the passage of a new health-related law in New York that compels Americans to not buy a product (not more than 16 ounces as a time, mind you).

It all yields the same result: we get to see the erosion of the mindset of American freedom right before our very eyes.

Big government can force us to drink pop and other carbonated drinks at only 16 ounces at a time if you live in New York City these days. Yet, it cannot force the nation to be healthier as a result. In fact, in the end, the reverse may be true. The movement of big government to mandate such a well-intended but improper directive from on high is a feeble notion that weakens the constitution of a people. It removes the sugar tooth of dietary intake and replaces it with cancers to self-accountability, self-reliance, self-determination, self-evaluation, self-improvement, and self-respect. Health is an internal essence, not a government commodity. A “one size fits all” way of advancing forward as Americans is not the best way to press onward as a better America. It is merely being progressive.

Big government can force us to not discriminate against other Americans based on race, gender, or cultural differences, but it cannot force us to heal as a nation through our diversity. For example, Tea Party members in Peoria and throughout Illinois have reached out repeatedly to members on different sides of political issues, hoping to prove through intent and action that political differences are not racial differences or differences in desired results. All sides want better schools. All sides want higher-skilled youth. All sides want safer communities. All sides want better jobs and self-perpetuating prosperity for years to come throughout all American communities.  At times, the spirit of our Constitution – from disagreeing with each other through free speech to our Amendments protecting freedom across diversity – has been embraced. Tea Partiers and other community activists have sat down in shared dialogue and activism with each other as Americans. At other times, these opportunities have been needlessly rejected, either in a closed-minded fashion or an oversight of historical obligation. It is my hope and expressed desire that those in Peoria, those within our beloved Illinois, and those throughout the nation’s communities will be courageous and loving enough to understand the spirit of the Constitution and take a stance of hope and courage. I envision a time when they all will embrace the mantra of the bigger role of everyday people. Then, we all can take a larger role of individual responsibility to head off this looming social crisis amongst us, even as we collectively work to fend off the looming economic crisis we continue to wade through.

Take heed, my fellow Americans, and take courage, for nation rebuilding – as with framing our Constitution and upholding its principles therein –  is not for the faint of heart.

Big government provides the promise and image of protection. That was the promise given by Nazi Germany. That was the promise given by the USSR. It is the promise given by communist China and embargoed Cuba. Yet, their governments ensnared their people. Our Constitution provides us protection – from big government, domestic foes to liberty, and geopolitical threats to civility and justice. It also provides us the empowerment necessary to make changes to protect liberty in an ever-changing nation without compromising or changing our definitions of American Exceptionalism, the American Dream, or the American Way of Life.  Through that protection and empowerment, it is vital that we beat back the threat of big government against our economic survival and individual freedoms.

It is necessary that we confront the ideologies that fit politicians and favored special interest groups instead of favoring the diversity and potential of this immense and limitless nation. It is unavoidable that, together, we face down the fears within ourselves to sidestep the obligation we have to individual liberty in all facets of our lives – from reforming our politics in America to reviving the best methods to empower struggling communities throughout America. Our Constitution is a unique tool that embraces the most diverse population of the world, protects its citizens against suppression of their voices and their votes, and empowers us past the limits of prohibitive government. Through it, we can rebuild our nation and take America to another level of esteemed greatness for the rest of this century.

Yet, it will take us working and fighting for all of the right reasons, with love for our countrymen and insightful approaches to our endeavors. We must be passionate and prudent, courageous yet conscientious, for nation rebuilding – as was the case with nation building, nation saving, and nation elevation in eras past – is not easy work. It is not for the faint of heart.

We were already told this. We were told to be ready and be active from the founding days in 1776 on through. We were told that:

“…whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive …it is the Right of the People to alter it…laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to (a)ffect their Safety and Happiness…”

We were told that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

We were told to stand for truth, no matter who tells it.  We were told to be for justice, no matter who it is for or against.

We were told that we cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.

And today, on Constitution Day, we face challenges that cannot escape the attention of our daily lives. Just the same, there is power within our Constitution and the government it formed – through the in-fighting at the convention in Philadelphia to the contention on the Congressional floor in Washington in the days since. We cannot allow that power to escape our focus and our motivations during our daily toils to rebuild this proud nation.

The American people, the American body politic, and even the American Constitution will never be perfect. Yet, through casting aside our faintness of heart, our revisionist history, our unwillingness to form new alliances, and our fears for the future, we can embrace the best that our Constitution upholds and empower ourselves to forge onward with a more Perfect Union.

By remembering that resolving our issues to improve our nation will come after the battles of ideas and bruising of egos, we understand today at a deeper level: that true freedom, freedom to be well-educated, liberated with economic opportunities, and protected from group-think policies and regressive ideologies…that freedom is truly never more than one generation away from extinction.

It is through the vigilant efforts of dedicated Americans that the freedoms afforded us today remain available and expand for  future generations.

It is through the evergreen nature of the essence of our Constitution that the pathway to freedom can be traveled by Americans of all creeds and cultures equally and successfully.

It is through the flaws of conflict and strife , the blemishes of battles and the scars of our mistakes as children of God that we embrace that essence which sustains the Constitution and our ability to self-actualize our potential as a result of it. It is through it all that we walk together, pressing Americans onward in another step in becoming a more Perfect Union.

We do so with the Constitution in tow.  We do so with the courage to toil with decorum and obligation for the sake of a better America in the days ahead. We do so, simply, because we know that nation rebuilding in America today – as was the case with nation building, nation saving, and nation elevation in days since gone – is not for the faint of heart. Yet, it is for us to take on, together – across race, class, cultural differences, and family backgrounds – starting today, on this wonderful Constitution Day here in Illinois.

Thank you for this opportunity to speak with you today.

God Bless you. God Bless the state of Illinois,

And God Bless the United States of America.