Editor Note: This is a reprint of a press release submitted to the Observer. Remarks have been edited for space.
U.S. Congressional Candidate Roger Hartstone Speaking At Navajo Nation Asks For Its Support
Navajo Tribal Council, Window Rock, Ariz. Speaker Begay, Council Delegates, distinguished members of the Navajo Nation, Members of the Press, and guests: My name is Roger Hartstone. I am the Democratic candidate for the U.S. Congress. Your invitation honors me. For the past 7 months I have received many honors from the Navajo people, for which I am most grateful.
Let me acknowledge and give special thanks to your courageous veterans. [To] The Navajo Code talkers from WWII [recently] honored in Washington, and in Phoenix, I wish to recognize them here in Window Rock. They helped America preserve freedom. And so did the dedicated veterans from WWII, Korea, Viet Nam, and Desert Storm. To all of you, I say ‘thank you.’ More than half a century ago, the American Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis reminded us: “Those who won our independence believed that the final end of the state was to make men free and to develop their faculties; . . . [and] that the greatest menace to freedom is an inert people...”
In our young campaign, we have met with many of you at your Chapter Houses, and parades, and school graduations, and at the Pow Wow in Tuba City. You know that we believe in hard work and the potential good that politics can create. We must never stand still because you and I have much work to do for the people. The exercise of freedom is not easy. It is a daily task. We must not avoid issues, but rather make the difficult decisions and hope to improve the lives of the people we serve. It is an honor to receive their votes and a responsibility never to be taken for granted.
Many of us in the room today are politicians. We have been given the people’s trust and we must not betray their confidence. We must use our freedom to protect sovereignty, to secure water rights, to improve education, to deliver quality health care, and to build the economic base of the Navajo Nation so that you are a self-sustaining people.
During the past 7 months I have been scolded, accused, welcomed, and honored. I understand the frustration and skepticism.