This morning I observed a city council meeting that the entire senior and junior classes were invited to listen and to comment. A couple of things caught my attention.
1) It was apparent that many of these kids do not understand what city government can do vs what is the responsibility of other governmental agencies.
2) Government agencies will listen, but there is so much more to effecting change than listening to a random complaint or thought and immediately changing policy. There are checks and balances. There processes and procedures. These checks and balances, processes and procedures are to protect the people… even if it seems like they make the People less and the Government all powerful.
3) These students do not understand that “THEY” are the government. They seem to forget that the Preamble of the Constitution begins with “We the People.” The Preamble talks about what the purpose of the Constitution of the United States is and what the guiding principles are that drive our chosen form of government.
WE ARE THE GOVERNMENT. We may hear all about history from textbooks, but it is up to us to take the lessons of history and put them into action! I believe that action takes three steps: Be a VOICE… VOTE… VOLUNTEER!
WE ARE THE GOVERNMENT! Speak up! Ask questions. Attend council meetings, cottage meetings and write letters. Be polite, but state your concerns, speak up for the oppressed, speak to others and look for solutions to common issues. Part of speaking also involves listening. Listen to others. Make observations. Learn how the branches of the government work and how they help keep each other in check in order to keep the power with the people so that no one person has absolute power. Learn how policies are formed. Learn how and why laws are created and enforced. Learn who to talk to with your concerns. Speaking to the wrong agency won’t get you far and will lead to frustration.
WE ARE THE GOVERNMENT! So vote! There is no better political voice then voting for the person or laws we feel best serve us as individuals, communities and as a nation. Seriously. You have no room to complain if you did not take the time to vote.
Guys! WE ARE THE GOVERNMENT. And that realization comes with a few limitations. No matter how much and how often we tax, there will NEVER be enough money to go around. What money is collected needs to be carefully considered and allocated. Because there is not enough to go around; people need to be willing to help. VOLUNTEER! It takes more than a voice to affect change. It takes bodies. It takes working hands. It takes work to bring about real change. If you don’t like how education works… volunteer in the schools. If you think the homeless need more services… volunteer in a homeless shelter or soup kitchen. If you think the environment needs protecting… participate in beach clean ups, reduce, reuse, recycle, plant trees, conserve fuel, clean trails, or help animals. If you think there needs to be better mental health services…. listen to people or be a friend to those who are lonely.
WE ARE THE GOVERNMENT!
What does it mean to be politically active? Be a VOICE, VOTE, VOLUNTEER! Truly, the wisdom of many, united in action, will make a difference.
You will help make progress every day, I promise. We all need to work for a better future.
Be politically active, not politically passive!