18 Apr Can You Change the Direction of Your Local Government
I just spent the last month fulfilling duties as a state county delegate. What that means in my state is that I research candidates running for both the Senate and House of Representatives in my districts in the state of Utah and vote on who I think should be on the ballot this fall. I spent weeks attending meet-and-greet events, Q&A events, cottage meetings in neighbor’s homes, speaking on the phone and communicating via email with potential candidates for my local districts. I reached out to neighbors to find out what kind of questions they had for potential senators and what issues were important to them. I read a variety of social media posts and statements about concerns or questions from people in my community and responses from these candidates. I studied voting records to deduce whether or not they were a good fit to represent the voice of my community. Then I voted on who I believed would best fill these political seats, in hopes that they can ultimately win their campaign this November.
In the United States, each individual state has a different way of running their political process, particularly their elections. If you live in the US, do you know how this process runs? Have you ever watched it unfold, or even better, have you ever volunteered to help it run? Do you know how senators are chosen, how to track their voting record, how to contact them to question them about their policies, priorities, or vision for the future? For those in other countries, do you closely follow the process for choosing leaders, or do you get involved? Do you know how they feel about families? About protecting parents’ rights? About liberty?
One thing that struck me was the number of delegates in my area that didn’t attend the convention when it came time to vote. After being chosen by their neighbors to represent them and vote who they thought would best represent them at the polls, there were approximately 15% of the delegates in the county who simply didn’t show up. Which means those areas had no representation, no voice in this initial vote. One thing was brought home forcefully to me at that moment– if you want to make a difference, you have to be involved. Imagine if I had been in one of those areas where a delegate didn’t show up. I was thankful I had chosen to get involved so my voice, and those of my neighbors, could be heard. Is your voice being heard? How do you know?
My work certainly isn’t done. Although it will not be in the capacity of a delegate, once the election has passed and our representatives are chosen, it is still my responsibility as a citizen to hold them accountable. I am responsible to still keep tabs on what they are doing, how they are voting, what interests they are representing. If you think that will happen without piping up from the back of the room you are wrong. Someone else, someone who gets involved and makes a lot of noise, will have their voice heard instead. Everyone deserves a voice, a chance to stand up for what they believe. If you don’t do it, no one will do it for you.