The function of a town council member is — foremost — to protect the health, safety, and welfare of his or her fellow citizens. This broad theoretical concept is realized in initiatives that improve quality of life.

Many of the initiatives I propose combat climate change and improve our environment. They also improve the quality of our lives. I see, and hope you do as well, that this presents a Win-Win situation at a very low cost.

We in Cary enjoy a very high quality of life in contrast to residents of other towns. I suggest that this fact is not the proper measure. The contrast should be, what we are doing to improve our quality of life measured against what we can do.

When St. Paul was proselytizing in Damascus, he was arrested. As a centurion was about to begin flogging him, Paul asked, "Is it legal for you to do this to a Roman citizen?"

The centurion became afraid, for the word had gone out from Rome, that its citizens would travel the world without interference, on pain of death. The centurion informed his commander, who became likewise afraid. Paul was released unharmed because Paul was a citizen of Rome.

In a divided Berlin, surrounded by a repressive Communist regime, President Kennedy proclaimed in 1961 before a million people at the Brandenburg Gate, "All free men – wherever they may live – are citizens of Berlin. And therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words – Ich bin ein Berliner" – I am a citizen of Berlin.

We are experiencing a rise in global temperature that, if not reversed, will result in catastrophe for the human race. The initiatives I propose are achievable, at reasonable cost, and will have significant effects if adopted by other jurisdictions, on the rise in temperature and the health of our air, land, and water. These initiatives have the added benefit of improving the day-to-day quality of life for each of us.

It's my hope that voters will approve the initiatives I propose, and if they do, that my colleagues on Council will join me in seeing them enacted. It's not an inconceivable notion, that Cary could become the leader [in a real and meaningful sense] in the fight against global warming, and the Town that other towns look to for ideas and guidance in that battle. Should this hope come to pass, then at some point each of us can say, with pride and sober satisfaction, that I am a Citizen of Cary.

Citizens of Cary: Geraldine and George McDowell