Remarks of RI Representative Blake Filippi at Town Council Swearing in Ceremony
The following opening remarks were delivered by newly elected Rhode Island Representative Blake Filippi at the November 17, 2014 swearing in of the Charlestown Town Council. Blake represents district 36, which includes all of Charlestown.
Alexis de Tocqueville was a 19th Century sociologist and political scientist. He traveled the United States studying our newborn country – our nascent republic – and was enamored by municipal government. He deemed it the bedrock of our nation. He remarked:
Local assemblies of citizens constitute the strength of free nations. Town meetings are to liberty what primary schools are to science… A nation may establish a system of free government, but without the spirit of municipal institutions, it cannot have the spirit of liberty.
I believe de Tocqueville meant that the ability of the People to affect local governance teaches us that we have the power to drive our state and nation – and therein lays the essence of a free people.
I believe this Council is uniquely qualified to preserve this great community, and to make it even better, but also, critically, to foment the honesty, openness and responsiveness that is the heart of the American experiment.
I can’t wait to see what you all are going to do – and look forward to working together for years to come.