A college professor once asked a class I was in, “What one word would you use to describe the United States of America?”
I said defiant. Because both the connotation and denotation of the word apply. The dictionary defines the word connotation as something suggested by a word. Denotation is defined as sign or indication.
Looking back on the founding of our nation the clearest example I can imagine is the Boston Tea Party. The physical act of patriots tossing actual bags of tea into the Charles River symbolize both of the meanings. In time as the country grew and became older our history became replete with examples of one, the other or both.
A few that come to mind are Valley Forge, Fort Sumpter, the invention of the production line, the HIV/AIDS epidemic and of course Sept. 11.
At each of these moments our nation not only survived, but we ended up thriving. Coming out the other side better, stronger and more prosperous than before.
The current COVID-19 virus is no different. It may seem now that there is no end in sight. That not enough is being done. That too much is being done in restricting how, where and when people move.
Each of us in our own way has experienced stress and nervousness as well as anxiety regarding this current crisis’s end. Will the company I work for still be in business? How do I pay for the things I must have? When this does end, will I still have the lifestyle I have been accustomed to?
I do not have all the answers. And I am certain I don’t have any. I do, though, have a suggestion.
The residents of Scottsdale did recently pass bond measures. While the specific questions did specify what and/where the money was to be spent on, what about taking unprecedented action to help resolve the current situation.
Take a portion of the approved funds and use the city’s Triple-A bond rating to turn those into liquidity. Thus, giving a huge cash injection into the General Fund.
Through the city manager and city treasurer those dollars would be dispersed directly to small business owners to help pay their workers, pay their operating expenses and support the businesses who have lost nearly all their income.
Defiance to me means accepting the reality of a challenge. Gathering as many facts as possible. Seeking input from those in favor, those opposed and residents from each part of our great city. Then after thoughtful civil deliberation making the tough call.
Editor’s Note: Michael Auerbach is a Scottsdale resident and running for Scottsdale City Council.