When did we stop being Americans FirstWhen did we stop becoming Americans first? I came to the United States as a teenager with a suitcase in hand in search of the American dream. Through hard work and determination, I made my own American dream come true. I followed the laws of this great country down the path to becoming an American citizen. I am and will always be proud to be an American.America is and has been a melting pot for the world for over two centuries. People from all corners of the globe have traveled across oceans to jump into the pot and be melted into an American citizen. It clearly states in our Declaration of Independence, “that all men are created equal.” Man, defined by Webster’s dictionary as “an individual human”, are all created equal, yet I fear we are slowly slipping away from equality as we fall into different categories of man. White, Black, Hispanic, Asian, Latino, Arab, Lebanese-American, African-American, Irish-American, Korean-American, Christian, Muslim, Jew, Hindu, Republican, Democrat, Progressive, Libertarian, and the list goes on and on. All labels that, instead of define us, are being used against us to divide us.Our heritage is something we should all be proud of and celebrate, but not by dividing us into different kinds of Americans and exalting some over others. This isn’t what brings America together, it is what tears America apart. It is a road this country has been driving down for a long time. America has grown, matured, and been sculpted by our mistakes and experiences. That is a big part of why America is so great and such a draw to those outside of it. Yet, this long road has had many turns, some with deep darkness and others full of light, but overall moving us forward.Over the past couple of years, America seems to have turned toward one of those dark bends in the road. Our country is becoming divided even further as two distinct ideologies are pushed by political leaders and the media. Instead of our political leaders in Washington D.C. coming together to find common ground, they attack each other relentlessly and further push the wedges of division among the people.We, as Americans, must respect our differences and work together to make our country an example to the world. An America where we are Americans first, willing to put in the sacrifice and hard work to keep this country the greatest country the world has ever known. We can’t be one that lashes out at each other because of our differences, but one that comes together in spite of them. Making accusatory allegations of racism for those that don’t agree with you is oppression and should have no place in the land of the free. Hundreds of thousands of people died for us to have that right. Let's not become like the nations we have escaped.So, I ask you, are you willing to look past what makes us different and see each other for what we all have in common? We are Americans. Together we can make this country even better.Sid Saab
I immigrated to this wonderful country as a teenager in search of a better life and future. With hard work, determination and many sleepless nights, I have reached my own version of the American Dream. None of this would have ever been possible without all of the great opportunities that this country has offered me.
Running for office is one way for me to do my part and give back. I want to make sure that our children and grandchildren have the same and even better opportunities that would help them reach their full potential.
Small businesses are the back bone of our economy and we have to take care of them so that they are able to grow, create jobs and expand our tax base. I have worked with Governor Hogan over the past four years to ensure that we eliminate red tape and burdensome regulations so we can save and attract new businesses.
Please click on the link below to find out more information about Sid Saab's Committee assignment and bill form the 2018 legislative session.
Elections have consequences — sometimes years down the road. If 2017 goes down as the year in which Anne Arundel County moved to an at least partially elected school board, it's fallout from what happened in 2014, when the county not only elected a Republican county executive with strong views on education but gained a Republican governor ready to back him up.
This led to last year's messy legislative and legal battle over the make-up of the committee that recommends board appointees to the governor. It was enough to push Democratic legislators to scrap the longtime opposition to an elected school board that has made Anne Arundel an outlier in Maryland: the only county hanging on to a fully appointed board.
Given traditional legislative courtesy, the decision is up to the county's General Assembly delegation, which has three proposals on the table:
•Del. Sid Saab, R-Crownsville, proposes seven board members elected by councilmanic district, with one member appointed by the county executive. Not surprisingly, this is the option County Executive Steve Schuh favors.
•The delegation chairwoman, Del. Pam Beidle, D-Linthicum, wants seven members elected by councilmanic district and one elected countywide.
•State Sen. Bryan Simonaire, R-Pasadena, suggests a 10-member board, seven elected by councilmanic district and three appointed by a commission — basically the same as today's School Board Nominating Commission, but with the county executive's appointees removed.
We sympathize with Simonaire's argument that retaining appointed members may be the only guarantee of diversity on the board. But after last year's vicious battling over which organizations and interests ought to be represented on the nominating commission, it may be a lost cause to try to turn over the selection of three board members to essentially the same panel, this time without the governor to screen its decisions.
On balance, we like Saab's proposal best. Given that the school system accounts for more than half the county's operating and capital spending, it's reasonable to give its government at least one voice on the board that draws up the school budget. But Schuh forgets that he's not the entire remainder of county government, and that there's a legislative branch that also has to approve the school budget. The county executive's appointment to the school board should be subject to the advice and consent of the County Council.
Beidle's proposal has the advantage of simplicity. If the county is going to start electing school board members, why not go to a fully elected board, like 18 other Maryland jurisdictions? What we don't like is the creation of an at-large board seat. This is likely to turn into an election for the school board presidency — if not for a sort of understudy to the county executive, the only other official elected countywide. Having an elected school board will inevitably inject more political maneuvering into the system, but this may take it a step too far.
The plan that eventually emerges from the county delegation will probably be a combination of two or more of the pieces of legislation on the table. We have no idea of the exact form the finished bill will take — but it's highly likely county voters will find at least some potential school board members on their ballots next year.
Del. Sid Saab, R-Crownsville, remembers when his family waited in line for wheat or bread, or parked the car at the gas station because someone heard the truck was coming that day.
Saab emigrated from Lebanon to the United States in 1990 and found his way to Maryland to be near his wife's family, whom he met in Washington, D.C.
He now owns a real estate business and is living the American dream, arriving in this country with $700 in his pocket and a desire to get away from the fighting and uncertainty in his home country.
And Wednesday he becomes Maryland's first Lebanese-born delegate.
"I couldn't do what I did here in Lebanon," Saab said. "Because if you are not from the right family ... you're never going to be able to play any part of change" — and, he said, you would never get a seat in the country's parliament.