■ By Scott Miller / Mayor of San Jacinto
2016 was a year of miracles…at least for me it was. First of all, the Chicago Cubs won the World Series – something I have been waiting for my whole life. Secondly, someone who the mainstream media and many others said could never win the presidency did. Being a registered Republican since I first started voting after joining the U.S. Marine Corps after high school, I felt it was important for me to get involved with the 2016 presidential campaign, so I raised my hand to become the chairman of the San Jacinto Valley for Trump campaign.
Our campaign strategy was simple, get as many people involved as possible, hold as many street events as possible and encourage as many people as possible to get out and vote for the Republican candidate.
Our campaign area covered both Hemet and San Jacinto and all of our street events were held on heavy traffic streets in both cities usually in the evening at 5 p.m. In two months of campaigning, we held at least two or three street events a week in addition to events held at the Valley Republican Headquarters in Hemet.
This was a grassroots campaign; people were coming out and volunteering their time on a regular basis. The campaign volunteers were standing as proud Americans, making their voices heard, proudly holding campaign signs and being encouraged by supporters driving by even in the face of some very mean-spirited people saying very abusive words, throwing food, and threatening people for exercising their Constitutional right to peaceful public demonstrations. All this while being told by so many that Trump cannot possibly win.
The night before the election, we held one more street event, this time right in front of the Republican Headquarters. It was amazing! More than 100 supporters stood on Florida Avenue and held their Trump signs, and– as with all of our other street events—we received overwhelming support from those who drove by and honked their car horns.
At the end of the campaign, the amazing did happen and Americans elected Mr. Trump as the 45th President of these United States. The San Jacinto Valley for Trump Campaign did very well as the vote outcome for the Valley had Trump winning in Hemet and losing in San Jacinto by a slim margin.
Moving forward, I spent the week of Jan. 16 in our nation’s capital attending the Conference for United States Mayors. Mayors from all across America attend this annual conference to discuss and research important topics which will be presented to the House and Senate for possible adoption into bills going before the president. The topics of climate change, childhood obesity, trade, immigration, water and transportation infrastructure funding are just a few of the many important subjects discussed. Being able to present what is important to San Jacinto and seek funding at a federal level are what make conferences like this so important to our constituents. It was also at the conference that I met many well-known national leaders, including Dr. Ben Carson.
Our councilman, Andrew Kotyuk, also traveled with me to D.C., attending meetings with the offices of Congress and the Senate, seeking resources and support for San Jacinto projects.
During this week, there was so much excitement in the air in D.C. The streets were packed with people and the hotels were all filled. Streets were being closed by the Secret Service in preparation for the inauguration. It was so impressive to see the Presidential motorcade come down the street. There had to be at least 40 cars, multiple limousines, military and medical vehicles. I don’t believe any other country takes care of their president the way that we do; it is truly amazing.
During our final day in D.C., Councilman Kotyuk and I were given the opportunity to attend the Presidential Inauguration. Having never attended an inauguration before, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Your day starts by getting up at 2 a.m., getting on the train at 4 a.m., waiting three hours in security lines, and finally, standing in our ticketed viewing place in front of the capitol for six hours. The Capitol Mall was completely packed with people. The atmosphere was electrified as people came from all over America to see Mr. Trump become the 45th president.
What we didn’t know about was how dangerous the protests would be after the inauguration. What a horrible way to ruin a perfect day for America. The protesters took over sections of the presidential parade route; they destroyed a Starbucks, burned up cars and other public property. Luckily, Councilman Kotyuk and I were already on our way to the airport when all the violence started.
All that being said, we are very proud to be Americans, and proud to serve the great city of San Jacinto.
God bless you, and may God Bless America.