The beginning of a new year is always a good time to take stock, and share our visions for the year that is about to take shape.
This is a good time to restate my personal vision for children in Santa Barbara County. We don’t know what 2017 will hold for them, but I’m sure most members of our community share this vision for all our young people.
We envision children growing up in good health, with a zest for learning and living.
We see them with a spark inside that makes them want to share their talents with those less fortunate, and work for the good of the order, just because it's the right thing to do.
We see children who are free of fear, free of abuse, free of drugs, free of prejudice.
We see children who are free to reach beyond their circumstances, whatever those might be, and to join a society that welcomes their contributions on the job, in the community, and in the voting booth.
And we see a community willing to work together to bring all our children closer to that dream.
If we all work together, and resist pointing the fingers of blame, we can form a circle of responsibility around our children.
We can make sure that our efforts are focused on improving the conditions of children in our community, and work together with that goal always in mind.
Happy New Year to young and old alike.