I feel I could play a small part in the continuing battle for justice by helping rebuild some of Wappinger’s poorest neighborhoods. We can affirm our faith without endangering the separation of church and state, as long as we understand that when we’re in the public square, we have to speak in universal terms that everyone can understand. But what so many people in my life fail to understand is that embarking on a program of self-development also requires a belief that society can change. Many more are simply skeptical that real change can occur.

I thought of the families I’ve met who were struggling to get by without a loved one’s full income. Their story very much connects with me. My father was a police officer in the NYPD 40th precinct. When I was 4 years old, my mom told me my dad was hurt and he was in the hospital. I didn’t understand what happened at that age but I did come to understand what pain is and what it feels like. Our lives drastically changed. We became resource scarce.

My family’s story line is one of struggle. We’re not that different from everyone else. We’ve had our points where we were separated through circumstance and we have had our times where love super-cedes the entropy that has faced us. Change occurs when believe that we can. When we work as a society to build stronger family through collectively creating opportunities for families and creating security is the we thrive.

Do we participate in a politics of fear or do we participate in a politics of hope? The politics we pick determines how our children will experience life. That is how important our decisions are. Which one will you pick?