Open Government Project
Government Watchdog
A Government Watchdog Group


State of Texas
Galveston County
City of Galveston
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Showing Up!
by David Stanowski
24 June 2012

“Nine tenths of life is just showing up.” Woody Allen

Yesterday, the people of Galveston finally just showed up!

By doing so, they completed the paradigm shift that has been under way since Hurricane Ike. Conventional Wisdom has been cast aside. The decline of the past half century has been halted!

However, before anyone gets too complacent, remember that the natural evolution of government is to become more autocratic, despotic, dysfunctional, deceptive, and self-serving. Therefore, change has just begun. People must remain vigilant, involved, and committed to this transformation.

Just as a steel bridge must constantly be scraped and sanded, to remove the rust, and repainted to slow future oxidation, government needs constant oversight from the people it serves, or the moment that their attention is directed elsewhere, it will be corrupted by special interests.

The Poverty Industry and other local special interests have now been “scraped away from the body politic”, but make no mistake about it, they will be back if we lose our focus and resolve just as surely as there will be Hurricanes in the Gulf!

True leadership is the process of consistently articulating a vision based on a set of clear principals until people are willing to follow your lead, not the deception, threats and demands that often dominated the last two years. This election cycle has begun the leadership process, and we look for it to continue. 

The GOGP was proud that we could play a role in informing and educating the public, which helped to give the people a voice, and once they began to be heard, they finally had permission to envision and then demand a better future. In other words, they acted like a city with high self esteem! 


As Benjamin Franklin left Independence Hall on the final day of the Constitutional Convention in 1787 a woman asked him,

“Well, Doctor, what have we got—a Republic or a Monarchy?”

He replied, “A Republic; if you can keep it.”

So, what does this city have on this fine day?

The once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to unify behind true leadership and discover our shared vision and common purpose; if we can keep it!


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