Happy New Year 2015!!
We hope you’ve had a wonderful holiday season. Many people make resolutions which they hope will make them better people and make their lives better. With that in mind, here are some resolutions that you may want to consider.
One of the cornerstone benefits of living in the United States is our right to vote. Initially, the number of people who were allowed to cast a ballot was fairly limited. Over the years, that vote has expanded to include women and people 18 years of age. Yet, even today, there are many people working very hard to make it difficult for working class Americans to cast a ballot. People have died bringing the right to vote to you and me.
Don’t let their sacrifices be in vain.
A common challenge that people face is getting to the polls. People have the right to take time to vote. Yet many employers prevent people from taking time during the work day to cast their ballot, essentially blocking their employees from exercising their right to vote. Fortunately, there is a work-around.
Today, virtually everyone has the option of becoming a vote-by-mail voter, commonly referred to as absentee voters. This options allows you to vote from the comfort of your home, at a convenient time. It also makes your polling place as close as your mailbox. So even if you don’t have a ride to the polls, you can still cast a ballot.
Whether it’s a local election or an election to select the next President of the United States, take the time, MAKE THE TIME, to go out and Vote!
Once you are in the voting booth you will be presented with a ballot listing the names of dedicated people who have chosen to run for public office. Any given ballot can contain names of people running for offices ranging from President of the United States to local school board members. Yet every single one of these positions is as important as the other. While the President of the United States deals with “big picture” problems, the local school board members deal with issues just as important to the local community.
Here’s where you come in: In most communities, there are many positions that go unfilled because no one has chosen to represent their community in that position. These position are for local boards that deal with water problems, zoning issues and many other facets that make up a community. Yet it is sometimes difficult to find people to serve in these positions. Worse, in the absence of candidates, these positions are handed out by government officials as “rewards” to their campaign supporters. When this happens, these boards fall into the hands of special interests and no longer serve the good of the community. Remember, “the community” is you, me, our neighbors and our families.
We can’t let this happen. Get active in your community.
A good place to start is your local school. If your children attend public school, you should start attending the local PTA and school board meetings. These meetings are where your children’s future is being decided. Make sure these boards are working in your children’s best interest. Speak Up! when proposals are made that would not benefit your children.
Similarly, your city council, or county board, or other local representative body is making decisions that will affect you directly or indirectly. Make sure they, too, are working in your best interest.
So attend your local meetings when possible. Speak Up! when bad proposals are made, and Vote!
Run for office
So now you’ve been attending the meeting of you local board and you’ve voiced your concerns about proposals that are important to your community. But the wishes of the community are not being met or worse, there is an unfilled local board position so there is no one to take action on a matter that needs to be addressed.
When presented with these conditions (or any one of many others) it may be time for you to Step Up! run for office. While this may seem daunting at first (and it is!) there may come a time when the “right person” for the job is You!