Constitution Week, Ventura County, and YOU!

The Constitution, source of our laws, liberties, and lifestyles!

By Deborah Baber Savalla

Saturday September 23, 2017 marks the official end of Constitution Week 2017 celebrations, proclamations, and recognition. This year is the 230th birthday of our United States Constitution, ready for ratification on September 17, 1787. It is never too late to celebrate our vaunted, law-giving, life-affirming document in Ventura County though.

State Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin Recognition

On Monday, September 25, 2017 the Simi Valley City Council will join Camarillo, Ojai, Oxnard, and Port Hueneme City Councils in proclaiming Constitution Week 2017 from the dais. At the end of August, the Ventura County Board of Education held forth on our Constitution as did the Ventura County Board of Supervisors  earlier this month. Ventura County residents can take further pride in our community at the State level with Assembly member Jacqui Irwin also proclaiming Constitution Week 2017 on her social media pages. In addition to these wonderful public displays over 700 fellow Ventura  residents signed a proclamation saying “happy 230th birthday” to our Constitution. Several dozen children, with their parents’ permission, added their symbolic signatures to the petition as well.

VC Supervisor Kelly  Long, Deborah Barber Savalla and Gloria

Young Lady Holding CW Sign & button 2017.08.08

In mid-August a non-partisan, grassroots group of Ventura County residents (POV-Point Of View) began an initiative to honor our Constitution’s birthday by embracing Public Law 915. The law was passed in Congress in 1956 at the urging of the DAR-Daughters of the American Revolution. It directs the President and the nation to annually join in recognizing and celebrating our Constitution for a week each year from September 17-23.  The purpose for the signature-gathering drive and the outreach to elected Ventura County officials has been two-fold.

First, the activities chosen to highlight Constitution Week 2017 were as much to remind ourselves as well as our elected officials of the source of our laws, liberties, and lifestyles. Indeed, our Constitution requires all elected officials and public servants to swear or affirm to uphold the Constitution. The second reason is because POV plans to build on this year’s activities in anticipation of 2018.

POV members envision much broader celebrations for Constitution Week in Ventura County’s future including parades, community activities, picnics, and other Fourth of July type celebrations. The crowning achievement for all Ventura County residents would be to hold a Constitution Quest Learning Bee among our schools! It would be akin to the old-fashioned spelling bee and might include travel between school districts to compete.

Importantly, the initiative is non-partisan. Why? Because our Constitution is non-partisan. After all, when the Constitution was ready for ratification, the Democrat Party was still 41 years into the future (1828) and the Republican Party was 67 years away from formation (1854). It is with pride, respect, and awe all among us can stand shoulder-to-shoulder and say together: “Happy 230th Birthday, Constitution!”

National Archives Constitution in the Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom

Deborah Baber Savalla is a former book publishing executive and is a founding member of POV-Point of View, Ventura County a non-partisan grassroots organization. POV is a clearing house for information and a source of education focused on a path of action.

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