HEATHER HOPES: Will the Concerned Citizens Please Rise?


Heather Cathleen Cox

Heather Cathleen Cox

Staff Writer

I read the comments left on the San Benito News website. And some are brutal.

Many San Benitians make allegations against their elected officials – namely the San Benito Consolidated Independent School District’s Board of Trustees or the San Benito City Commissioners. I’m not talking minor accusations, either.

Comparatively, there is an upcoming election in May, where two Trustees and two Commissioners are up for re-election. To my knowledge, in each case the individuals up for re-election are unopposed.

I can’t help but wonder what would happen if the same folks spewing allegations behind the comfort of Internet pseudonyms decided to use their disdain as fuel to oppose the same individuals they accuse.

I’m not here to defend or defame any politicians, local or otherwise. However, I will say that it takes a certain kind of personality to endure the battles that often come with a life in the spotlight. One might argue that politicians seek the limelight, which is why they run for election in the first place. But that’s not always true. At least such was not the case for my grandfather, John Brodecky.

My grandfather was somewhat ‘pressured’ into running for Mayor of Rio Hondo a few decades ago, at a time when local happenings were undesirable yet, as elections drew near, no new incumbents arose.

Local people respected my grandfather’s ethics as a local farmer and business owner, and when a few of those same citizens held a meeting among themselves to discuss a forthcoming election, my grandfather’s name was dropped. After a discussion, people decided they would rather stand behind a ‘regular Joe’ with integrity than someone they deemed unethical but who had been groomed for politics. They wanted a leader they respected, and he was it.

Contritely, when approached and asked to run for Mayor, my grandfather was not inclined to agree. While he wanted nothing of the power associated with the title, he did want conditions to improve in his town. He recognized that the torch was lit and had been proverbially passed to him, so he did what he thought was right. It was not without some resistance, but he ultimately he ran and was elected for one term.

A community – not entirely unlike this one – recognized a genuine need for new leadership and they did something about it. My grandfather served his term as Mayor and made several positive changes while in office that led to the betterment of his community. But what if he’d rejected the requests of his fellow concerned citizens? For that matter, what if no one had ‘twisted his arm’ when he was first approached and the idea of obtaining office seemed implausible to him?

What if the same concerned citizens had not held meetings among themselves that led them to decide to approach my grandpa? What if the first person with the idea that John Brodecky was ‘the man for the job,’ had remained silent?

Those who are complaining the loudest – we all hear you. We see you. So why not put some real grit behind that complaint you’re lodging and call another powerhouse citizen, then another, until you’ve gathered three or more likeminded folks who are willing to hold a meeting to pose thoughts, pool thoughts and formulate a plan of action.

It won’t be easy. You may have to ‘twist some arms’ before a goal is identified or reached. But what is your alternative? Proverbs 18:21 says the power of life and death is in the tongue. But words spoken in vain will never evoke change; they only promote negativity. My friend, be careful what you say, and don’t just talk about the changes you want to encounter. Rise up and be that change!

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.sbnewspaper.com/2015/02/06/heather-hopes-will-the-concerned-citizens-please-rise/


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    • Daniel on February 11, 2015 at 9:16 am
    • Reply


    Who’s looking forward to a Mayweather vs. Pacquiao fight? Just curious, because it has about as much to do with the column as the rest of the comments.

      • Proud Liberal on February 11, 2015 at 1:43 pm
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      Good question Daniel. I am betting on Manny Pacquiao in the early rounds if it is a fast paced bout. Otherwise, Mayweather will take the fight.

      Sorry for the long comment in response to Mr. James. But, as the kids like to say; “He started it!”.

    • James on February 10, 2015 at 9:35 pm
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    @ Proud Liberal

    In Obama’s book “Dreams”, Obama said, “he would purge the white blood from my veins” on page 101-102 in the paperback edition. I guess he also is a plagiarist. Obama said, “If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor” and “your premiums will not go up” . In one interview he said he was a Muslim and at a later date he said he was a Christian. These are but a few of his lies. Obama is pro-abortion; he believes in infanticide. He has made that very clear. He made a comment that if the baby is still alive after the abortion to just let it “lie on the table until it dies.” Obama says he is black. He is not; he is a mulatto, or a high yellow by definition. He is the first offspring of a Negro and a person of European stock. Another lie. The millennials and the welfare nation are the group that put him in office. Not exactly the most informed voters who are also known as your low information voter. And as for the Crusades, their is no comparison to what is happening in the Middle East today. I too am a Christian and was offended by his statements at the prayer breakfast. He has proved his hatred for the Jews and his love for Muslims by his actions for last six years. He will be responsible for Iran getting the “bomb”. That’s just around the corner. I suspect you are either a professor or an attorney. You are well written and good at twisting the truth.

      • Proud Liberal on February 11, 2015 at 1:38 pm
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      I see you are the “old James” who has made previous comments here about the so-called welfare dependent citizens of San Benito. The core theme of your argument appears to be your hatred dislike of President Obama for the mere fact he is an African American and occupies the White House.

      Even the Anti-Defamation League, a U.S. based international organization dedicated to fighting anti-Semitism, asked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to cancel his appearance before Congress.

      Anti-Defamation League Urges Benjamin Netanyahu To Cancel Congress Speech

      I am neither a professor or an attorney; not that that is a bad profession. However, I did play an attorney in a mock trial once. We convicted a Republican lawmaker for “voter fraud”.

      Must return to work now!


    • frank on February 10, 2015 at 9:04 pm
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    @proud liberal- This whole government is a corrupt, our city/county government corruption is nothing compared to the national corruption. Its not about the republicans or the democrats because they are both about the same thing- money. We have had these two parties dictate this country for more than 150 years. Our founding fathers did not want a democracy, Instead they wanted a republic. Our country is not the united states of america anymore its become the united states of corporations. Weve been fighting a perenial war that’s not about our freedom or justice for 9/11, its about oil and control. The mainstream media has been nothing but presstitutes for the corporations, just look at Brian Williams and his lies to sell war. Sad thing is he’s not the only mainstream anchor that is lying to us, he’s just the fallout guy. Obama and the previous administrations before him are all liars, and should be held accountable for treason, aiding and abbetting terrorists, and for being the real terrorists.

    • Proud Liberal on February 10, 2015 at 2:05 pm
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    Your quote “I wish I could let every drop of white blood from my body” is not only incomplete but you attribute it to President Obama when, in fact, it was Malcolm X who said it. Malcolm X said that he “wished that the white blood that ran through him, ‘there by an act of violence’, might somehow be expunged”.

    Regarding your other quote “I’m not going to punish my daughter with a baby”; President Obama was merely stating that if one of his daughters made a mistake and had an unplanned pregnancy, he would not punish them by forcing them to have the baby. It is after all, a decision to be made by the parents alone with counseling and not by anybody else, including you and me.

    Regarding your comment that President Obama made disparaging remarks about Christians at the annual prayer breakfast, the president was not attacking Christianity, he was simply noting that just as ISIS may be using the name of Islam to rally followers to its violent agenda, extremists world-wide within the Christian faith have done the same thing historically. Violence has been in the mainstream of Christianity throughout history. I can provide you examples but it would be an extremely long comment. I am a Christian who was not offended by the President’s remarks mentioning the crusades.

    You claim that President Obama has proved to be a “serial liar”. Please enlighten the 65,915,796 voters who voted for President Obama in 2012 and provide a list of those lies. He defeated Romney by 4,982,296 votes.

    Speaking of liars, President George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and the rest of the Republican administration “manipulated the intelligence” to attack Iraq, who had no involvement with the tragedy of 9/11. The 9/11 commission refused to implicate George Bush because Senate Republicans refused to allow the commission to investigate whether the Bush administration manipulated intelligence. The Bush administration simply ignored the “President Daily Brief of Aug 16, 2001”.
    The 9/11 report in chapter eight says that, in the summer of 2001, the “Bush government” ignored repeated warnings by the CIA, ignored, and didn’t do anything to harden our border security, didn’t do anything to harden airport country, didn’t do anything to engage local law enforcement, didn’t do anything to round up INS and consular offices and say we have to shut this down, and didn’t warn the American people.

    The Phase II report, endorsed by two of the committee’s seven Republicans and all its Democrats, concluded, “The (Bush) Administration repeatedly presented intelligence as fact when in reality it was unsubstantiated, contradicted, or even non-existent.” …top Administration officials made repeated statements that falsely linked Iraq and al Qa’ida as a single threat and insinuated that Iraq played a role in 9/11. Sadly, the Bush Administration led the nation into war under false pretenses.

    In the final analysis, I felt the “same way as you” when President George W. Bush was re-elected to a 2nd term. I felt that “too many people voted out of emotion and not common sense”. People voted for “what’s in it for me” instead of “what’s in it for us.”

    That is the beauty of living in a Democracy. We each get “one vote”. Let us not let it become an “oligarchy”.


      • zembar on February 10, 2015 at 7:30 pm
      • Reply

      Yawn … sounds like a long spin to get your point across… historically

        • Proud Liberal on February 11, 2015 at 1:13 pm
        • Reply

        ZZZZZZZZZZ Just a point counter-point reply to Mr. James. ZZZZZZZZZZ

          • Grammarian on February 12, 2015 at 9:36 am
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          Actually “I wish I could let every drop of white blood from my body” is a complete sentence. I don’t know if this is the direct term from a book or a quote.

          “To let blood” is to cause blood to flow; ie, to bleed.



    • James on February 7, 2015 at 3:23 pm
    • Reply

    President Obama, in my opinion, is the most morally bankrupt President in my lifetime (I’m 60). Several of his quotes are as follows: in one of his books he wrote, “I wish I could let every drop of white blood from my body” and “I’m not going to punish my daughter with a baby.” He very recently had disparaging remarks about Christians at the annual prayer breakfast. What’s my point…the “good guy or gal” often finish last. Why? People vote for the “cool and hip person” or the individual that is going to “wheel and deal”. Obama has proved himself to be a serial liar but still got the vote for a second term. I don’t get it. Maybe someone can explain this to me. In the final analysis, it seems too many people vote out of emotion and not common sense. People vote for “what’s in it for me” instead of “what’s in it for us.”

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