- Special Sections
- Public Notices
“We hold these truths to be self-evident,
that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with
certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the
pursuit of Happiness.”
– Thomas Jefferson
As we prepare for Independence Day, we should stop, pause, and look back to
the original documents of our history. For many years we have been taught
that the Declaration of Independence was drafted because of ‘taxation
without representation,’ and that was a small part of it. If we review the
actual document we find that this issue was only one of twenty-seven
grievances listed in the Declaration of Independence. Eleven addressed the
abuse of representative powers; seven the abuse of military powers; four the
abuse of judicial powers; and two the stirring up of domestic insurrection.
On July 4, 1776, the members of the First Continental Congress set into
motion the establishment of a free nation, a government for the people, by
the people. Since that time we’ve seen our great nation rise as a beacon
of hope and freedom for those in our own country and around the world.
President Abraham Lincoln pushed for passage of the Emancipation
Proclamation, setting the wheels in motion to grant rights and freedoms to an
entire race that had been persecuted. It was a fight carried on by people
like Martin Luther King, Jr., whose push in the South helped the Civil Rights
Act of 1964 become law.
Susan B. Anthony fought for years as an American citizen, and through an
organization she co-founded, the National Woman Suffrage Association, to
afford women the same right as men to have their voices heard. Anthony was
even arrested and tried by the federal government in 1872 because she had
voted in that year’s election. Her trial and subsequent work eventually led
to passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution in 1920.
Lincoln, King and Anthony are three examples of how Americans, both well
known and not so known, have worked and sacrificed to make sure the freedoms
our forefathers spelled out in the Declaration of Independence remain strong
and true for everyone.
Recently there have headlines spelling out allegations of infringements by
the federal government by agencies like the Internal Revenue Service and the
National Security Agency. Like Lincoln and Anthony before us, it is essential
those in positions of leadership and citizens join together to make sure our
freedoms are protected from the overreach of those who seek to take them
away. It is proof positive as we celebrate this Independence Day that the
fight for our rights and freedoms must go on and we must ever be mindful of
the concerns of our Founders to preserve this special nation.
I welcome your comments and concerns on any issues throughout the year
impacting our Commonwealth. I can be reached through the toll-free message
line in Frankfort at 1-800-372-7181, or you can contact me via e-mail at
email@example.com . You can keep track of committee meetings and
potential legislation through the Kentucky Legislature Home Page at