To the Editor from Dan Allie

Thank you to everyone who helped on my campaign for Westfield City Council. I apologize for the delay.
But for those of us gathering signatures to repeal the Automatic Gasoline Tax, our work did not end on November 5th, but continued until the November 20th deadline for turning in signatures. In Westfield, over 80 sheets of petitions were given to our city clerk to verify.
Thank you to all the volunteers who helped. After weeks of going door-to-door and other events, students and other volunteers joined myself and a group of dedicated volunteers. Thank you to the Westfield News and Channel 22 for their coverage. Thank you to the Westfield Big Y, Granville Fair, the Holyoke Mall and Wal-Mart for allowing volunteers to gather signatures.
Volunteers across the state had a goal to collect 100,000 signatures to place a question on the 2014 statewide ballot asking voters to eliminate a requirement in a new law to adjust the gasoline tax annually based on the Consumer Price Index.
We pay our state legislators to vote on things like raising taxes. Most people understand that. The response was excellent.
People have had enough of government over-reaching, over-spending, over-taxing and causing problems rather than serving the public. We should be focused on the economy, inflation and creating jobs, not on how to grow government and taking more tax dollars from people. Government is making it harder for people to make it. Government at all levels is making it harder for small businesses to plan, invest and create more jobs.
First, Congress passed legislation affecting everyone’s healthcare and one-sixth of the U.S. economy, and does not read it. Then, Massachusetts has to repeal the “Software Tax” because it is so bad our government cannot figure out how to implement it” and now our state legislators try to slip pass an automatic taxing mechanism that does not require a vote. This is no way to run our government.
In fact, our government and political parties were not intended to work this way. As we celebrate the 150th Anniversary of The Gettysburg Address, it is we who must rededicate ourselves to the proposition that all men are created equal, and none are above the law or more powerful than any other.
And it is we that must resolve that the government of the people, by the people and for the people shall not perish from the earth. Too many of us are not involved. How can we be self-governing if we do not pick our own candidates or know how to get them elected?
Abraham Lincoln helped organize the Republican Party in the 1850’s in opposition to the spread of slavery. He did it by forming committees in towns throughout the area. Susan B. Anthony and Dr. Martin Luther King were both Republicans and leaders fighting for women’s rights and civil rights. The strength of these national movements was in the grassroots’ efforts of people and the self-evident truths of their cause.
Over the last few decades, people have forgotten the ward committees were the basic building block of our political parties. People became accustomed to professional politicians and campaigns, and voting for the lesser of two evils. The political establishment is satisfied with this situation, because it views “we the people” as competition.
A ward committee is a group of up to thirty-five people in every ward who can pick people they respect to run for public office. This group work together to help elect their candidate. The group can also hold their elected leaders accountable, and replace them if these leaders go over to the dark side.
The committee would also help grow a farm club of candidates and people elected to local office. As these folks gained experience, they could become candidates for higher office. Campaign schools can train candidates, campaign managers, coordinators and volunteers to run campaigns in only a day or two. People who are determined and organized can win elections.
I know are all busy with our families, work and businesses. But if people will work together, doing what we can, as we are able, it does make a difference. In fact, it is the only way to have government responsive to the will of the people and be self-governing.
Thank you, and Happy Thanksgiving Day. (Another thing that Abraham Lincoln gave us.)
Dan Allie
38 Union St, Westfield
City Councilor-Elect

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