As children, we live our fledgling life embracing the world around us, absorbing our environment with wild, blind abandon and innocence. In small bodies, we fall down, get up, and repeat once more. We play, we laugh, we cry, we wonder. In our youth we spring back from our inquisitive world-prodding whether it teaches us or pokes back at us. Occasionally, though, as we skip along the cliff’s-edge of childhood, we lose our footing and fall. But our fall is gentle and usually soft, cushioned by those who love us: our parents, our guardians.
As we go about our business of experiencing the world by walking life’s cliff-edge, our parents watch over, catch and protect us. They are our guardians, and as such are responsible for our safety, for looking out for our well-being and for protecting us from dangers we are unaware of. They work tirelessly to assure that we make it past our childhood into our teens, our 20’s, relationships, families, and beyond. Thanks to their diligence we survive our youth and successfully embrace our world and our future.
But sadly, not all children have parents or guardians who are committed to protecting them. For some, their parents are too self-centered to be concerned. For others, they are unprepared or unfit to handle the responsibility that comes with protecting those in their charge. In some cases, parents are so distracted by the promises of career, money and fame that the health and welfare of their children are ignored. It’s not child abuse in the conventional sense. It’s more like plain neglect. Neglect that breeds illness – in mind and body. Neglect that subtly teaches children that they are not important. Neglect that breeds discontent and anger. That creates stress and health problems. That makes life more difficult as the children grow up.
And like those children, right now, the citizens of our fair city of Pittsburg are being neglected by City government. Right now, the people in whom we have put our faith to do the right thing, to protect us from the badness, to keep us safe and healthy, are failing us.
Our City leaders, our guardians, are neglecting us, their wards, who do not understand the dangers inherent in every new industrial project or development plan. Our guardians have become the unfit parents of neglected children.
It’s time that our City government remembers the core tenet of their mission for Pittsburg: To be the guardian of its citizenry, to watch our backs, to assure our safety and well-being today and into the future.
Our real parents did not ignore the threats to our safety when we were children. Nor did they have “No comment” when we asked them for help keeping us safe. They took action to protect us and to shelter us from potential threats. Today, in all these ways, our City government is failing us.
Unlike children, who cannot choose their parents, we are fortunate that we can choose our guardians. If our guardians cannot or do not protect us from dangers, known and unknown, we can choose to find new guardians.
Today, in Pittsburg, we deserve better guardians. Guardians who take seriously their responsibility to protect this city. If we have guardians who are not clearly and consistently looking after our best interests, then we must find new ones who will.