Get Involved in Local Government!

Aug 5, 2013 by

Get Involved in Local Government!

It feels great to be an American on the Fourth of July when we can sit back and watch the fireworks blast away. And there’s something special about that moment before the sports game when 100,000 fans stand together for the National Anthem. In times like that we can feel a connection between our sense of citizenship today and the vision of our Founding Fathers so many years ago.

When the words “We the People of the United States of America” were first penned to the page, most of those individuals participating in that room had recently risked their lives for the liberty they cherished. They recognized that freedom and liberty would be best preserved by placing the power of the government into the hands of the People.

Today, we do not have to risk our lives to participate in the organized system of democracy that makes up our American government. But in a similar way, participating and protecting our democracy does take our attention and commitment at various times. Sometimes that means showing up at the polls on election day to cast our vote. And sometimes that may mean sacrificing an evening to participate in a city council or school board meeting.

Our modern world loves to criticize the work of government, but many of the activities that affect our everyday lives are controlled by decisions made by our neighbors and friends. The city streets that we use to get to work, the school bus that picks up our children, and the water that comes from our kitchen tap are all examples of the handiwork of our local government in action. And those who serve on the councils or boards that help make that happen may be the same individuals that we know from the grocery store or Sunday church service.

The next time you meet someone who serves in our local government system, take the time to thank them for helping make democracy work in America. Without them, we wouldn’t have many of the great conveniences that government brings to our everyday lives. And, while you’re visiting with them about their service to our communities, maybe you could also consider whether you’d be willing to make a similar commitment to democracy some day in the future.

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