I’m certainly not proud of the fact that I didn’t pay attention to politics before working here, but it’s the truth. Fortunately, during my time here I’ve come to understand that my lack of interest wasn’t all that unusual. The more I spoke to others, I realized I was in the majority. Unfortunately, people believe that if everything is fine, it isn’t necessary to pay attention. Truth is, that’s skewed thinking.
I believe this role has generously increased my awareness by teaching me the power of voice, the power of living in a democracy. Many of my meetings with our legislators included challenging topics. Some areas we agreed with, others we didn’t but we still had valuable, insightful conversations and always walked away with a handshake and appreciation for the conversation.
Speaking more locally, I was shocked to learn at our last local election that less than 12% of people came out to vote. You may believe it didn’t matter because of where we live, but that shouldn’t be the attitude. There is no better starting point for paying attention to policy and politics, than locally. If you love where you live, my hunch is you want it to stay that way. If you’re not paying attention, it could change in the blink of an eye.
Whether it’s local, regional or federal, if there’s something you’re passionate about, why not learn how you can become involved and have your voice be heard? Sadly, I see more people simply using Facebook as a tool to complain versus finding an opportunity to make an impact. It’s easy to be bold behind a computer screen, but what’s really bold is showing up at a village hall, school board meeting, rally, etc. to share your perspective. Pay attention, learn what makes your community tick, learn how your voice can make a difference, it can, and it should.
Why not start by getting involved with our very own Business Works group here at the Chamber that hosts programs spotlighting issues that affect our business community? Reba Osborne who is the Director of Government Affairs would welcome your engagement. More voices make a difference!
I have never been more passionate about the impact of policy locally and globally. This role has taught me that even if I disagree with someone, my voice is no less important than yours. My perspective is no less important, simply different. I’ve learned by talking to many people that we can and should have conversations that are uncomfortable, even if others can’t seem to do it. Change starts with us, we can be a leader for our kids, our community, our country, our future. I owe this valuable learning to the NACC. #grateful
Make it a great week,