The beauty of our independence is that we have the right to openly say whatever is on our minds. If we don’t like what others are saying, we can choose to debate and express our own point of view, or, to walk away.
More so than any other generation of Americans, we can openly express our opinions in multiple forums today. In an age where random, faceless bloggers have an emerging power, it’s those citizens who express their views and attach their name to them that will make an honest difference.
If you truly want your opinion to be heard, show your face and stand up for what you believe is right. Yet, we see fewer people embracing this most important aspect of our democracy: actual participation. Volunteering on campaigns, running for office, or simply getting out to vote.
Provided you meet the legal age and residency requirements, everyone has the ability to run and win for elected office. From the rise of the Tea Party to the Occupy Movement, those who are truly incensed, truly aggravated have voiced their grievances over the last several years.
They’ve captured the discontent among voters. People are upset at government, at big business, at the lack of employment, as many should be.
However, I propose another target for their aggression.
We should actually be upset with ourselves. Did we not elect these leaders into the White House, Congress, the State House, or City Hall?
Maybe this is time for a volunteer movement. To begin working in our neighborhoods, working with our community action groups, and develop an overwhelming power in organized effort that will actually result in change.
Or perhaps this is time for more people to step out from the shadows and become candidates themselves. To leave the realm of protests and complaints and enter a life of public service and dedication to solving the problems they believe deserve fixing. We have the tools in place to change our government.
We’ve made it our mission to remind the residents of the NoBo region that everything starts locally.
If you want to end the popularity contests, you have to take some time to get involved. If you want leadership, you have to help those you believe have the talent, the energy, and the compassion to take the helm.
Political beliefs have grown to be embraced by millions, but they have to begin with one.
One person who gets involved and wishes to serve others.
One person willing to knock on doors, to talk with others, to refine ideas, to guide and strengthen values in our communities.