By Noah Dawson
It’s been a cold week so far. So cold, in fact, that it feels like we’re already deep into winter. So, while Thanksgiving is still over a month away, the weather has skipped that part of the year altogether. Therefore, I guess it’s time for an early-belated Thanksgiving column.
I’ve written and spoken about the importance of freedom before, and I’ve used this example before, but one of the clearest examples of liberty in action here in Amarillo has been citizens filming the public comment meetings. This week, I’d like to thank the people of Amarillo who have stepped up to film these meetings now that our city has stopped doing so. It’s a freedom that was violated earlier this year, but, thanks to the wonderful and often vocal community of freedom lovers we have here in Amarillo, that violation of rights was reversed. Specifically, I’d like to thank Kip Billups, Amanda Brown Hunter, and the page Amarillo by Mourning for streaming the meetings on Facebook.
While I’m on that topic, I’d like to thank our Mayor for changing her heart on the issue of allowing citizens to record. She shouldn’t have ever tried to stop people from filming public meetings, but the fact that she was able to change her stance on that issue shows she is capable of actual change. I’ve often asked the council to improve their leadership, something I know they can do. If they can apply that same kind of mindset to other issues, we might just put our city on a better track.
I also want to thank those who do speak up at the council meetings. There are many who come often, and there are many in our city who’ve once or a handful of times. Watching this week’s meeting, there were familiar faces, and many new faces as well. Engaging with government officials is an important civic duty, and the fact that members of our community do so shows that the people of this town care.
I want to thank the rest of the team at The Amarillo Pioneer for all the things they’ve done. I want to thank Thomas Warren II and Thomas Warren III for running this wonderful news source. They have provided honest and accurate reporting to the people of the area, putting the truth front and center. I’d also like to thank fellow columnist Trent Rosser for his columns, which never fail to put a smile on my face.
There are plenty of other people I’d like to thank, and there is a good chance I’ll write a follow up to this week’s column once the real Thanksgiving comes around, but, for now I’ll wrap it up with this: Thank you, Amarillo, for being such a great town. This past year has been full of controversy, and there is still plenty to fix, but you give me hope.