Its important that people know there are lots of like-minded folks out their people who want to stand up and be counted, said group spokesman Gary Appel.
The mission of TC Common Sense is to encourage blue-value residents to run for office or to help out with a campaign. The billboards will direct people to visit the website tc-commonsense.org, where people will find many ways to get involved, Appel said.
He added that the group is committed to defending constitutional values.
Were here because those values are under assault, and were not going to let that happen. Not without a fight, Appel said. Weve joined forces to do our part in reclaiming this country from recklessness in government. Where to start? Well, theres no place like home.
According to a news release from the group, TC Common Sense is made up of parents, professionals and business owners -- everyone from artists and stay-at-home moms to writers, daycare providers and teachers.
TC Common Sense plans to actively endorse candidates, although not necessarily based on their party affiliation. The organization has a manifesto defining blue values:
Last-resort defense: Armed conflict is physically, emotionally, psychologically and economically devastating to those who must endure it and those who commit it. We must not pursue armed conflict unless there is imminent, irrefutable peril to American citizens, and unless all other reasonable options have been exhausted.
The Bill of Rights: Government should not infringe on our Constitutional freedoms except as a last resort, when national security or others rights are undeniably imperiled. These include freedom of speech, press, religion and the right to a fair trial, a speedy trial and equal treatment. We oppose cruel punishment and torture, as did our nations founders. Government must respect its citizens privacy-our homes, bodies, families, bedrooms, medical histories and private information-and government must not mandate who we should marry or what our bodies must carry.
Opportunity: All citizens are entitled to a quality public education. All workers are entitled to a living wage. All children are entitled to have enough to eat.
Tolerance: Our republic was engineered to prevent a tyranny of the majority. This intentionally secular nation, filled with people of faith, cannot impose a particular sects moral principles on the masses. EfficiencyIn addition to creating and upholding just laws, government exists to build and maintain public infrastructure. These activities should be performed as efficiently as possible given current technologies and resources.
Fiscal responsibility: No heavy borrowing. Dont default. Dont duplicate services better provided by private business or non-profits. We must pay for services we commit to for the common good. We must not allow other countries to finance our choices.
Accountability: Dont pass the buck, including to future generations. Elected officials are proxies of the masses, and their actions must be subject to public scrutiny.
Eliminating payola: Those who contribute to political campaigns should have no preferential treatment when it comes to writing laws, enforcing laws, and receiving government contracts.
Preservation: Government must establish and fairly enforce reasonable limits on personal and corporate activities that harm natural environments and ecosystems needed for our survival and quality of life.
Compassion: No citizen should ever be starving, homeless, in extreme poverty or without adequate medical care, except by their own choosing. Families, nonprofits and communities and churches are best suited to caring for their own. When all else fails, however, government must come to the aid of the destitute.
The group also plans to distribute bumper stickers featuring an image of blue cherries to demonstrate Traverse City‘s progressive values. For more information on the group‘s activities, see www.tc-commonsense.org
A jewel preserved
in Harbor Springs
A 109-acre property well known by cross country skiers in the Harbor Springs region has been permanently protected with a conservation easement through the Little Traverse Conservancy, thanks to Laura and Vern Kors. For years, the Kors have allowed a local ski tour to cross their private property which consists primarily of woods and farm fields. We know that the skiers appreciate the beauty of the property and will leave it undisturbed, Vern said.
Originally purchased in the early 1970s, the couple has always wanted to protect their land which they enjoy for hunting, hiking, and farming. When a neighboring tract was discussed for a large development, the Kors decided it was time to take action.
“We are gaining the permanent assurance that this land will never be developed in the future, Laura said. We see Conservancy properties around us and are so pleased to know that ours will always be one more jewel on the landscape.