Charge to the City
The following remarks by Alexandria Police Chief David P. Baker took place during Mayor Bill Euilles Unity Breakfast held on Wednesday, November 26, 2008.
It is my honor to join all of you to celebrate again the call by our most distinguished Mayor Bill Euille for unity, community, participation and involvement at all levels by all people – who live, work or visit our great city.
And thank you Mr. Mayor for allowing me the privilege of presenting my charge to the city your charge – for a stronger, more committed, more involved, more engaged and more community minded Alexandria.
In this country, we are approaching exciting times with enormous historical significance exciting times accompanied by an atmosphere of promise, optimism, hope and change that is both electrifying and breathtaking.
But we also face enormous challenges – challenges that will require all of us to provide more service, more sacrifice, and to be more giving and more understanding in any number of different ways.
To our businesses:
Develop a relationship and acquaintance with our community. Encourage employees to become involved in the good that is accomplished by participating in community education and outreach programs sponsored by the schools, managed by city commissions or created at the grass roots level by community based organizations.
Always remember that an engaged and involved community is good for business. And an engaged and involved business is good for our community.
To our schools:
Incorporate the value and importance of community service into traditional classroom instruction. Help students become good citizens. Create opportunities for students to participate in community projects.
Involve parents and the community in your efforts. Challenge them to become involved. Ask that they invest more of themselves and their time to help you mold to help you guide to help you teach the most exciting and promising part of Americas future our children.
To nonprofits, service clubs, and benevolent associations:
Continue to reach out with your charitable acts of mercy your good deeds your service to others your service to community.
Provide hope and optimism to those in need. Reach out to the lost among us. Champion community causes, programs, and initiatives that value and practice the fair and equitable distribution of money and services.
And in a collaborative way, advocate and honorably model the joy and benefit of giving of compassion and of values and commitment to yourselves, your organizations and your community.
To our youth:
Look around you look around and see that anything is possible. Work hard and pursue your dreams. Be your own person. Establish your own identity.
Help yourself and others by finding ways to contribute to your community. Make your community a better place. Believe in yourself and in your ability to make a difference at home, in school and in your community and model good citizenship that influences others to stand up and contribute.
To our churches, synagogues, faith based institutions and spiritual leaders:
Stand up at the pulpit stand up in our community stand up in our neighborhoods and show us the way. Participate in ways you never have before. Unite us in the call for community faith, community service and community participation.
Use your power and Gods word to influence the mood in our neighborhoods to lift the spirit of the unengaged and to raise the level of goodwill that will empower all of us to reach out to others to reach out to our communities with fellowship, friendship and good deeds.
And finally, to all of us:
Alexandria is a very special place, blessed with an involved and engaged community that cares a community of extraordinary pride and unique history a community committed to action.
And so it is in these most difficult times that I ask those of you who are involved to stay involved.
If you are not, I ask that you get involved. Become active. Participate. Do more, give more, care more – and continue your selfless acts of sacrifice and service to community that have been and will always be the heart and soul of the Mayors dream of one Alexandria.
As I close, let me leave you with a quote from Francis Bacon that says, To accomplish things we have never accomplished before, we must first be willing to try things we have never tried before.Thank you. Happy holidays and God bless all of you.
David Baker is Alexandrias Chief of Police