I just voted. I cast my first ballot for my new town.
Something came over me when I slid that ballot envelope into the mailbox in front of the post office.
I don't even know how to describe how it felt. In a way, I think I felt like the first citizens of the United States probably felt when they cast their first ballot over 200 years ago. I have been a part of the birth of a town, a whole new democracy. The formation of this town symbolizes everything America has traditionally stood for -- rule of the people, by the people, for the people -- the little guy having a say and all men being created equal regardless of how much money they have or don't have.
The active people in our new town's formation run the gamut from people like a newly transplanted self-employed accountant (me) to longtime residents with accumulated wealth. It runs from the many retired members of our community to a 13-year-old boy who asked at one of our recent meetings, "How old do you have to be to be mayor?"
Despite disparate backgrounds and differences in age, income, and lifestyle, we have come together to defend our way of life -- all with an equal vote and an equal say in our outcome.
I am so proud to be a part of this. That moneyed developer who thinks he can come in here and kick us around so he can profit at our expense failed to take into account the true spirit of America that resides within every one of us. Bin Laden underestimated us, when he thought a couple of toppled buildings would send us cowering in a corner. Likewise this clueless developer thinks filing a bunch of lawsuits, harassing our council members, and spreading lies throughout the community is going to make us roll over and give up.
Both should know by now that when you throw a punch at true Americans, we don't duck, we fight back.
This country was not built on cowardice, nor was it built by quitters. It was built on courage and self-sacrifice for a common goal -- freedom and self-determination.
March 14 we will know if Arizona's newest town will be called Diamond Star or Star Valley, that decision also to be made by a vote of the people of our town. Either way, it will be a shining "star," an example of what can be when the free people of this country come together for a common cause.
For now, I will sign this,
Debra Speakes, Diamond Star Valley