Lance Jackson, Janet Kelly, Carol Williams
“These are the times that try men’s souls; the summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.” Thomas Paine December 23, 1776
Recently Kingsburg and California have had recall efforts. California had a recall of the Governor and Kingsburg’s District One is in process of recalling their City Council representative. Why? Some may ask “What is the point?”
We live in a constitutional republic, which means we have the opportunity to elect people to represent us in our government. These elected officials are not given uncontrolled power, and are accountable to their constituents. When the constituency is unhappy with their representative, they can either wait until the next election cycle, or they may exercise their right to advocate immediate change in governance by initiating a recall. The Recall is one of very few ways “little people” can fight against the vast political machine. Most recalls are grassroots efforts with citizens or private groups rallying together to make two points: displeasure with the direction of government and the desire to make a difference. In a way, recalls are the 2021 version of Lexington and Concord, where a rag-tag group of Colonists took on the most powerful Country in the world, Britain. Those 80 colonists fired “the shot heard round the world” and started The American Revolution. They helped create the greatest country the world has known.
During the Revolutionary War and the events leading up to it, resistance to British rule came from the grass roots. 30-40% of the colonists remained loyal to the crown, and as few as 3% joined the patriot cause. A grass roots effort of men, women, freed slaves, mostly working class and poor, but united in a singular purpose… to live free from tyranny. The British political machine was huge, and patriots were few. But together they produced great change by sticking together. These are the people we need to thank for the freedoms we have.
As an example of citizens coming together to affect change can be found in Kingsburg’s current District 1 Recall. In response to the constituents desire to remove their current representative, a group of concerned citizens knocked on 750 doors and collected 423 signatures (354 were needed to certify the recall) from this district. On 9/27/21, the recall petitions were submitted for certification by the Kingsburg City Clerk. This effort started with a small group, and grew when like-minded residents joined in. They did this at their own expense, including all the recall fees.
“Sunshine patriot and summer soldier” or freedom loving patriot? Who wants a voice in their own futures? Two important questions to ponder. Most people who put heart and soul into a recall are the latter.