SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Tucked away in a book in my Capitol office is a letter addressed to Kenneth William Cooley whose return address is stated simply as The White House. A 4 cent stamp on the envelope shows a Mercury space capsule floating above a luminous Earth with the words “US Man in Space.” Its cancellation mark shows it was mailed on May 4th 1962 in Washington, D.C. I had written President John F. Kennedy at the age of seven, and received that response shortly after I turned eight.
As a child, I was inspired that President Kennedy dreamed big dreams and was bold-minded as an innovator. As an adult, I now know the ensuing US space program reflects his willingness to ask “what might be?”
In my adult life, both as a founder of the City of Rancho Cordova, with 10 years on its City Council and two terms as Mayor, and now as a State Assemblyman, I find another John Kennedy quote relevant almost every day.
“Our responsibility,” Kennedy said, “is one of decision, for to govern is to choose.”
While I still agree that “to govern is to choose,” my Ken Cooley corollary is that we must always know the available choices.