Your voter’s pamphlet will include a poem

While working on a story on the upcoming November general election, I took the time to read through Clark County’s voter pamphlet.

Most of it is the same old rigmarole on bridges and light rail.

But the statement against “Advisory Vote No. 6” on limiting fireworks use and sale includes a poem.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a poem in a voters pamphlet before. And as someone who finds the public process artistically inspiring, I thought this warranted a moments consideration.

Below I present an excerpt from your upcoming voter’s pamphlet, a ballad composed by Clark County Environmental Director and State Sen. Don Benton, R-Vancovuer, and serial public commenter Carolyn Crain. (No seriously, those are the people who put their names on this.)

“When we think of freedom we think of the fourth of July.
Baseball, barbecues and apple pie.
From the sidewalks of Wall Street to those streets called Main.
Men bled and died and not in vain.
They gave us freedom from taxes on stamps and tea.
They won independence from across the sea.
These days as we watch those “bombs” bursting in air
The bright colorful patterns remind us that flag is still there.
To all those who find it stressful I ask you to be brave
As we celebrate the lives for a country those men gave.
The celebration and memories of these fireworks become fond
I ask you to let the young ones develop those bonds.
Please let them grow up feeling loyalty and like they belong
To the country whose fireworks are glorified in its’ national song.”

A little loose on the cadence, and it floats a bit toward the end, but definitely points for creativity here.

Erik Hidle

Erik Hidle

Erik Hidle covers Clark County government for The Columbian. He can be followed on facebook at, on Twitter at @col_clarkgov or contacted by email at

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