Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose told the 219 new American citizens from 54 countries that had their naturalization ceremony Tuesday, February 23, 2020 at the Atrium, Statehouse, Columbus, Ohio to seek opportunities to lead and get engaged in local levels.
“They should get engaged at local levels, look for opportunities to lead. Don’t’ wait for someone to tell you it is your turn,” Said Secretary Frank LaRose.
“If you see a need to leadership in your community whether it is on the school board or on the city council or running for higher office, consider putting your name on that because it takes people to step up and lead.”
“The perspective that new Americans have is a valuable one, they should be heard in government.”
According to him, “Citizenship is precious. It is worth achieving. It is a long road. But the opportunities to be an American, to be a member of our American family and to be a registered voter is worth achieving.
“They should enjoy the rights and they should embrace the responsibilities of citizenship.”
While quoting from the Constitution and on forming “a more perfect Union,” Secretary LaRose said, “Perhaps it never will be perfect, but that each generation of Americans is responsible for working to making it more perfect.”
“We know that in the very beginning of our democracy we were so proud of the fact of the rights to vote and free speech and we know that those rights were denied to so many of our fellow Americans in those days. We know that successive generations of Americans have had to work to make it a more perfect Union such as bringing about universal suffrage.
“We know that just this year we celebrated the 100 years anniversary of women’s right to vote. We know that each generation wants to make this generation more perfect and part of that is this story of American citizenship. It is a story that has been written by immigrants’ families just like each and every one of you. And like my family, we have worked to make this nation more perfect that I know that you will as well.”
“Think about what immigrants’ families have brought to this nation; think about the rich contributions the immigrants’ families have made to the cultural lives of this nation and the economic lives of this nation.”
Secretary LaRose urged the new Americans to avail themselves with the opportunities in the Secretary of State office, “so much of what we do at the secretary of state office is really about what you all have all grasped as the American dream.”
“That American dream includes the opportunity to start a business which so many immigrants have taken advantage of and it is such a great part of our nation. That is something that happens in the Ohio Secretary of State office.”
“I am proud to say it is happening in a record number. Just last year, a record of 130,000 new businesses started in the State of Ohio. I hope you will take the opportunity to be an entrepreneur to do that really courageous thing to start a business and we will be happy to welcome you at the Ohio Secretary of State office,” said Secretary LaRose.