Holding a vision of Port Arthur on the cutting edge

Published 9:59 am Tuesday, June 28, 2016

By Anthony McDaniel

I would like to begin by sending heartfelt congratulations to our newly elected mayor, Mr. Derrick Freeman. Now it is no secret he was not my candidate of choice in the race; nevertheless, he won the election. I am lead by the spirit to pray for all leaders both in and out of season. Believers are well aware that our maker has historically changed the minds of kings and is the same yesterday, today and forevermore.

I often remind everyone in my editorials of the philosophy of life I have adopted by way of Bishop T.D. Jakes. That is “anything that a Christian is a part of should feel the effect of their presence.” Now while I may fall short in many areas of life, as do we all, I am relentless at making a substantial contribution to the community in which I live. Now the accolades of men are as sweet as candy and likewise, last as long in the mouths of anybody with a sweet tooth. So that is not, nor has ever been my motivation. Rather, my motivation may be considered both selfless and selfish simultaneously. Selfless in the spirit of opening doors of opportunity and promoting equity in the lives of those whose path I cross. Selfish in the spirit of that feeling of purpose I get from making a difference in the lives of others and the satisfaction of knowing that my maker is well pleased with my performance utilizing the gifts he has given me.

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Now based on some past indiscretions made by the newly elected mayor during his term as city councilman, there are many who believe that he will not act in the best interest of the city as much as he will opportune himself with an elevated lifestyle. To those individuals I ask that you join with me in prayer for the mayor, city manager and all city leadership because we all know who has the last say in every matter. One of the most significant items I believe should be taken into account is public apathy. Citizens of Port Arthur, we absolutely must take a more active role in the standard of living in our community. We must go beyond our homes and reach out to the masses in our community to cultivate a more vested relationship. The voter population here is a no fractional parody, but rather an absolute travesty of the wishes of our community that absolutely must be addressed by city leadership and private citizens alike. Not just during election time, consistently year round.

Now a vast majority of the population would like to take pleasure in visiting Pleasure Island, have improved trash collection and road conditions; however, this is not reflected in our voter turnout. The total population, according to the 2010 Census, is 53,818. Of the total population, over half (32,124) are in the 18-64 age range. In the most recent election, only 3,306 were cast. That is less than 7 percent of the city’s population. When your councilman has district town hall meetings, attend and take a neighbor. Councilman Keith Richard has one scheduled for Thursday, June 30. Attend council meetings and/or watch them online then make known your concern. The street campaign originally started right here with yours truly. After submission of multiple articles, I made power point presentations to illustrate the significance of my quandary regarding road repair. Then it took off like a rocket. Thomas Boulevard, Gillham Circle, 39th & 10th streets were given attention to rather quickly once city leadership became aware that streets were not a passing thought, but rather a significant concern.

Everyone cannot communicate with ease their dilemma or disappointment with city leadership; notwithstanding, everyone can have a voice by merely voting for someone to represent their concerns. Then hold those people accountable for taking action on the very thing they promised. Some candidates run on a very broad platform so they cannot be held accountable for detail. When they say vote for a better Port Arthur, make them give details. Better in what way, lower unemployment with what type of job opportunities etc. We have a lot more power than we exercise. The art of complaining bears absolutely no power; however, the right to vote carries all power or our ancestors would never have died to get it. Come on Port Arthur hold on to the vision of Port Arthur on the cutting edge and VOTE!

Anthony McDaniel is a resident of Port Arthur.