By Jan Bergemann

July 4, 2004

Dear Friends,

Our nation is celebrating its 228th birthday and we are happily going to join in the celebration. But instead of sending our soldiers overseas to fight for freedom, shouldn't we first look behind the curtains of our own society? All over the nation homeowners and condo-owners living in associations are fighting for their rights. Despite the facts that our government has created these associations, many of our elected officials are unwilling to accept the liability they created. 

Our government has the responsibility to protect the citizens against obvious abuse. It is about time that our government creates a regulatory agency with full enforcement power to stop these abuses. Some of the abuses reported in media headlines would make dictators like Fidel Castro proud!

But last I heard we are not living in a dictatorship or a Banana Republic. Many of the people living in this country are proud to live in a country known for freedom, equal rights, democracy and property rights. 

My teachers in Germany taught me about a country far across the ocean that stands for freedom and democracy and sent its army over to Europe to defeat a dictatorship. Were my teachers wrong or is that all a thing of the past, only to be found in history books?

I don't hope so and I'm willing to fight for our given rights. I'm a firm believer of "My Home Is My Castle." And I'm a firm believer of the fact that the government is responsible to enforce the laws. I'm willing to pay for it, as I'm willing to pay my property taxes. But I'm unwilling to use my life-savings to protect my given rights.

I don't think our founding fathers believed that the obligations of our government should be referred to civil courts and it should be the responsibility of our citizens to enforce our own rights in expensive legal battles. 

It is imperative that our government finally wakes up and takes the necessary steps to protect the welfare of our citizens. 

Governor Bush signed the two main association bills that passed our legislature this past session. But for obvious reasons he used others to explain that he is against regulation of homeowners' associations. If that's really the case, I have an easy solution: Don't create homeowners' associations if you don't want to regulate them! But if you allow them to exist, then see to it that our citizens are protected.

Especially in a State like Florida, where we have many retirees, living on a fixed income, and many minorities, who try to make a living and fulfill their American Dream, our elected officials have an obligation to protect their constituents.

The members of CCFJ, Inc. and our growing number of allies will continue to fight for legislative reforms to improve the consumer protection for owners living in associations. And we count on the support of our elected officials to help us achieve these goals!

On a day like today, when we all celebrate the Day of Independence, we have to let our elected officials know that the people of this great country stand for Independence, Freedom, Liberty and Democracy and that “WE THE PEOPLE” are willing to join forces to defend our constitutional rights and the symbol of our National Pride: our American Flag! 
                                                “God Bless America!”