In a presidential election year, it can be hard to feel a sense of national unity in light of the intensive campaigning. We often adopt an “us versus them” mentality, emphasizing differences of opinion rather than embracing any shared convictions.

Working in politics, I certainly understand how these divisions arise. However, it is important to remember that there is more that brings us together than pushes us apart. No matter our race, gender, religion or political persuasion, we are all Americans. This is not merely a descriptive label; rather, the word “American” signifies a fundamental part of our identities.

On July 4th, we will have the opportunity to celebrate the core values we hold as citizens of this great country. These values do not stem from a specific region, demographic, or political party, but are universal within the United States. Insistence on democracy as the only acceptable form of government, belief in freedom and equality for all, encouragement of diversity—these are the principles that define what it is to be an American. Each time Independence Day rolls around, we are reminded of this common ground.

When our forefathers adopted the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776, they did so to create a new country unified under the values laid out in that timeless document. We should never forget the birth of our nation and the ties that bind us. I hope that the meaning of the Fourth of July can inspire a spirit of togetherness within your community.

Summit County offers a number of different holiday events within the 41st House District and the neighboring areas. Come out to Fairlawn Town Center and participate in a Fourth of July parade or head to downtown Akron on July 2nd, 3rd or 4th to enjoy the Rib, White and Blue Festival at Lock 3. However you choose to celebrate, I wish you a safe and joyous Independence Day.


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