Letter to the Editor: Name Building for Values

By John Bartlit
Los Alamos
 I offer a different idea for naming the new municipal building.
 
The idea is to use the opportunity to honor and publicize a precious concept of governance and citizenship rather than for any individual in the process.
I suggest the name “Los Alamos Community Town Hall.”
 
“Community” emphasizes that Los Alamos is uniquely a county-town, yet is one community.
 
“Municipal Building” and “Town Hall” are historical synonyms. “Town Hall” is a fresh, yet old and powerful concept of democracy.
“Town Hall” brings to mind the historic American values of democracy at the working level, citizen participation, political representatives meeting with constituents, and other images that come to each of us alone.
 
Alexis de Tocqueville, the famed chronicler of “Democracy in America” (published, 1831), is quoted on the subject: “Town meetings are to liberty what primary schools are to science; they bring it within the people’s reach, they teach men how to use and how to enjoy it.”
Imagine the value of Los Alamos spreading the idea that “Town meetings are to liberty what primary schools are to science.” What is more fitting for Los Alamos, the science education town?
 
Los Alamos can use five bold words on the building to honor and teach values that make our country what it is and that make Los Alamos a special town in this nation.
The values themselves are well-served in our time by fresh visibility. I propose the name “Los Alamos Community Town Hall.”
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