(The following is a speech written by the Editor while running for City Counsilor in the city of Boston in 1996)
Our Children Are The Most Important Part Of Our Future
And They Need Our Help
The most important issue confronting us all today in District 7 and elsewhere is the distinct possibility that we may lose this and future generations of our youth. We are losing them! Female as well as male. To a sub-culture of Drugs, Guns, Sexually transmitted disease and early death. A subculture financially supported by an underground economy; an economy fueled by money gained mainly from the sale of street drugs. Children lost tot the streets have traded traditional subjects of study such as the basics of reading, writing and arithmetic for the more worldly pursuits like pushing (dope), stealing and robbery.
A more cynical observer would conclude that a whole generation has already been lost to the drug culture. As they either have become purveyors or purchasers of crack, marijuana or heroin. It would seem this way at first glance, but the truth is that the greater majority of our children are adhering to the course assigned them. A course designed to prepare them for a career and a future. Ending with matriculation through the three levels of public school. Not enough publicity is given to those that try to succeed in that more traditional way. Much more publicity is given to those that refuse to assimilate into this educational process and instead follow that rebellious course and join that number occupying our street corners.
These children, lost to the mean streets, have forsaken the more traditional avenue to lifetime success, a way that takes patience and study, for the seemingly quicker and more intellectually easy road that they believe will provide financially for their immediate needs. They, on the whole, do not think of or plan for the future. These lost children are not alone in this; because neither do their opposites, at first. They all have to be taught to plan, to believe in the future. Although that is not enough. They need to see, by example, their parents living in that manner and most importantly, how the immediate generation preceding them, can follow a given plan, use that plan, finish and be successful, as was promised. We need to be assured of ourselves as parents and leaders to be able to look into the eyes of a child and say with conviction, "son, or daughter, if you go to our schools, get an education, study and persevere the world can be yours; for you will be prepared. Trust this that I tell you." Can any of us now say this in good conscience? I don't believe so.
No area, District 7 included, can grow or indeed survive at length, as a community, without constant renewal of energetic and imaginative minds. Minds unfettered by unreal and dishonest influences. Minds emboldened with the distinct traditions of that community in which they reside, work and hopefully begin to raise their families.
All of our children are needed in our community. Not just those who belong to that group statistically defined as average, with two parents, a stable household with extra-familial and intra-familial activities, such as church or civic and/or fraternal organizations. or the group that includes a family headed by a single parent who through example and leadership has kept the child from the ways of the world and by doing so has kept the family together.Lastly we also need him or her that was wayward, caught, incarcerated and successfully rehabilitated. That someone who re-enters the community to become an integral and useful member. We need all of the previously mentioned. And those that are in the process of deciding which road to take.
I believe that there is and will be no greater task facing us as citizens of Boston District 7 than the planting, cultivation and harvesting of our youth, as proud members of this community. ...............An effort, and plan must be put into effect now to assure a success and greatness in our future. Our main goal has to be to make education of the next and future generations of students a priority, while not forgetting the other issues that confront us.............
But, sending our children out into the world prepared to create the work force and not just to join the work force should be our # 1 priority.
Listen Little Brother! courtesy Mr. Leon Beal All Rights Reserved