Jim Cowan

Growing up in Chickasha in the 60’s and 70’s, I remember my Dad being involved with several civic projects. When he was the head of the V.I.C.A program at the High School, I remember him helping with a campaign to remind people to wear seat belts while driving. For most people today, it’s automatic, but back then the campaign was needed to increase safety. I remember a bumper sticker that the V.I.C.A program helped circulate: “I’m buckled R U.”

 Another civic campaign my dad was involved with was helping Chickasha get recognized as an All-American City. The National Civic League awards only ten cities nationwide each year and in 1971, Chickasha received that prestigious award. According to the NCL website, “The All-American City Award recognizes communities that leverage civic engagement, collaboration, inclusiveness and innovation to successfully address local issues.” Chickasha is one of only seven cities in Oklahoma that has received that award since it began back in the 1940’s.

Next year will be the 50th Anniversary of Chickasha being recognized as an All-Amercian City and I believe it will be an incredible opportunity for everyone to show more civic engagement. We need to find ways how we can all work together to make our City better by focusing on those past accomplishments fifty years ago.

That spirit of civic engagement will be on display this coming weekend, when the Chickasha Chamber of Commerce leads over fifty volunteers to work on various clean up projects before our City hosts the Rock Island Arts Festival, Rock Island Ride and The Oklahoma Food Truck Championship. Under the leadership of Chamber Presient Cassandra Ersland, these volunteers will help clean up some areas of our City before we welcome thousands of visitors to our community. Her leadership has also inspired some of our local schools to focus on the area around them and have students show some civic pride.

As we approach the 50th Anniversary of being an All-American City, let’s put aside what divides us and instead focus on how we can help each other. Something as simple as a clean up day should help remind us of our past accomplishments. Let’s rekindle volunteerism and all take pride in the City we live in. The Chamber’s slogan for this weekend is “Love where you Live” and that slogan is definitely #TheGoodStuff!

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