Sunday, 16 September 2012 23:05

Why Vote

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Why Vote?Why Vote In 2012?

The relationship between ourselves and politics is an important one. The things we take for granted: schools, paved streets, city parks, health care facilities are examples of services provided by the government. If you care about things, you need to be involved. As the saying goes “All politics is local.” This means politics (public service) starts where you live.


The Challenge

here is low voter participation of our young people, aged 18 to 24 yearsAccording to the US Census Bureau, of eligible voters only 58.5% per cent were registered to vote. Among those aged 25 to 34 years, the rate of registration is 66%. Minorities register at lower rates than whites do.

This is one significant indication of a weak connection with the community and a lack of trust in the government. However, There are things we as citizens take for granted: schools, paved streets, city parks, health care facilities are examples of services provided by the government. The government services are controlled by the power of your vote. If you care about things, you need to be involved. As the saying goes “All politics is local.” This means politics is your responsibilty and starts where you live.

The Opportunity

Getting involved in your community is your relationship with government. Getting involved with righting what is wrong near you means that you are part of the changes of your community, the part that is working to make positive changes. Your life takes on new meaning, you have important work to do (in addition to your job and taking care of your family). Grassroots leadership is local people getting local power to meet the challenges facing them. You read often about groups of residents coming together to work for positive changes in their neighborhoods. These are the benefits of your relationship with government.

Ways to Get Involved to Your Community

Look to your interests.
You will find a way to become engaged in a project that is meaningful. When you give of yourself to help others (the community) you feel good.

Read the local papers or search the internet for ideas.

Think about what bothers you about your town and what you can do to fix it? .
Can you call your city large trash pickup number to report mattresses and other large items left on the street? Can you report illegal dumping you observe into the sewers to the Sanitation Department? These are just a few of the ways you will find to do small things that help.

Look to local politics
On a larger scale, look to local politics to see if there is a person running for office that you can support, someone who sees things the way you do. Get involved with her/his campaign. Is there a group working on local projects you believe in? Give them a call or find their website and offer to volunteer.

Grassroot Involvement
A few examples are volunteers who work in schools and hospitals, a hair dresser who gives free haircuts to veterans or the unemployed. Some serve food to the homeless, work at food banks or teach skills at centers and libraries. A man in Jamaica Bay, New York, goes out in his boat looking for people who dump things into the water and organizes cleanup efforts in the Bay. You see a need, you work to find a solution, gather other concerned citizens and together you implement the solution. Recently in New York, Boston, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Chicago and 40 other cities, protesters took to the streets to criticize policies they say benefit the richest 1% of Americans. This is local grassroots political leadership.

Non-Partisan Political Programs for Youth

Programs exist to help young women and men to work towards a better future, for themselves and for others. One non-partisan program run by the League of Women Voters is called “Running and Winning.” Young people are engaged in learning what it takes to run for an office and win. They need young adults to assist at the yearly event. Many organizations offer opportunities for involvement and internships to students of all ages to become active in ways that will make a better future.
You can search for a League program in your city via www.lwv.org - League of Women Voters, click on your state for local Leagues in your area

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