First let me thank Clare Howard for the opportunity to present my views and perspectives in Community Word. When Clare first approached me about this opportunity, I was very reluctant and wondered if anyone would care about Ray LaHood’s point of view. After further conversation with Clare, we decided to accept her offer. So each month I will be offering my point of view on issues affecting our country or from time to time our community. So here we go:

Thankfully the long election is over. With the joy and happiness of the holidays behind us we look to 2017 with hope and optimism. First and foremost the election was conducted fairly with little or no controversy. We should be very proud of our election officials in Central Illinois and all over America for conducting our elections fairly and honestly. It is time now for all Americans to encourage our newly elected and reelected representatives in Congress to work with our newly elected president to solve our most pressing issues and problems. These big problems include: keeping the homeland safe, fixing our crumbling infrastructure, fixing our immigration system and fixing our very complicated tax code to name the most pressing. Making sure any and all Americans who want or need a job is intertwined in all of the issues I mentioned. Jan. 20, 2017, Inauguration Day, is a day of hope and opportunity for America. Jan. 20 is the day when our country demonstrates the peaceful transfer of power from President Obama to President Trump. All Americans should be extraordinarily proud of the manner and form by which this transfer of power takes place. Jan. 20 is also the day we renew our commitment to democracy and the greatest country on the planet. If this commitment can hold beyond Jan. 20, the potential for all Americans is limitless. The potential for our country to solve our most pressing problems is limitless. The truth is if President Trump is successful, America will be successful. Happy and hopeful 2017!

Ray LaHood

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