Tahlequah Daily Press

Letters to editor

June 20, 2011

Don’t give us handouts

TAHLEQUAH — Editor, Daily Press:

I have always heard if you work for something you appreciate it more. My own life has proved it to be true. When I had to work to own something, I treated it better. When I was 16, my dad brought home an orange ‘74 Chevy pickup. He handed me the keys and a payment book. He paid the down payment and I made monthly payments and bought my own fuel. My dad gave me a hand up so I could go to work at Stilwell’s Walmart and pay for my truck.

When I was 23, going to college and couldn’t afford my payments on my new truck, my dad made a couple payments for me. He gave me help through a tough time.

 Now that I’m an adult, I never need to ask my dad for help paying my bills. I take care of my things because I’ve had to work for them. We all know people whose parents gave them a car, then they crashed it. Only after their parents quit giving them cars did they work for their own and take care of it.

I think of the Cherokee Nation’s services like I think of my dad. The Nation can be there to give folks a hand up and to help them get through a tough time. The Cherokee Nation isn’t giving away houses anymore, but it is helping people buy or build their own houses with the mortgage assistance program.

In the past, the Cherokee Nation did build houses and give them to people, some with small payments, some without. Many of those are still lived in today and people have taken care of them. However, just as many others were neglected, vandalized, burned out, and abandoned.

I would like everyone to own a home. I would like to own a home. I’ve rented the house I live in for almost 10 years. When I can afford to buy a home, I hope to do so, but I don’t expect anyone to give me one. I believe in my family’s tradition of hard work, responsibility, honesty and integrity. These are also the traditions of Cherokee people. We aren’t afraid of work.

I don’t want leaders think I am dependent and weak and will only vote for them if they make me promises of handouts. I want leaders who believe in my ability enough to help me, give me a hand up, support me, and then let me earn my own things. Please consider the consequences of your vote.

Dallas Pettigrew

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