Monday, September 28, 2009

Feel helpless? Start at the local level

I hear from many who say they feel helpless to impact the "doings" in Washington. They feel they're just a tiny, tiny ant in the middle of a local an hill sitting in a huge field... and those big 'ol D.C. types own the field and live in that distant mansion.

My response is to say that even ants sting. Put enough of them together and you can really make a difference. Ever tried to eradicate ants in your yard? You can do your darndest but they keep coming back. They go underground for a while, then one day you look out in your yard and find they've taken over. They go everywhere, sneak into the mansion despite the best pest control...

Maybe it's not the best analogy, but it kinda works!

However, even in an ant hill there are those that agitate and those that protect their home turf, or the queen, that have specific purposes. Just like in the ant hill, there are those in life who will never venture out to protect (but most will defend when the trouble comes to them!).

To those who aren't interested in going to Tea Party rallies or 9/12 events, to those who for whatever reason don't feel inclined to protest the happenings way up in Washington, I say: get involved at the local level.

I go to Fayette County Commission meetings fairly regularly (although in the past couple of months I've had to back off for a variety of reasons). I am always dismayed at the lack of involvement from citizens. Big issues are being decided that affect the future of all who live in this county and it's as though they're operating in a vacuum.

The only time people seem to show up is when they perceive that whatever is happening is going to directly impact their livelihood or home. Usually it's too late by the time most wake up, show up, and voice their opinions. The Commissioners, or City Council or Mayor, etc. have already made up their minds and a handful of people sharing their angst isn't going to sway them.

If you were there, if you read the agendas (posted on-line), if you wrote letters to the Editor, took the time to do a bit of homework, you could make some major changes in the way things are happening.

Right now the County Commission and City Councils in the county are trying to extend one of the current 1-cent taxes we're paying. I'm voting no. I was there for the meeting when they presented the list and there is nothing on the list that I feel deserves an extra penny on every dollar I spend in the county.

How much do you know about the SPLOST that's going to be on the ballot in November? Have you looked at the list of projects the County wants included? What do you know about your County Commission? Are you aware that what they do affects you even if you live IN the various Fayette County cities?

You don't have to feel helpless. If you can't stir things up in Washington, try stirring up your own little ant hill. It's not top down government, it should be from the ground up government. You elect 'em, you should pay attention to what they're ALL doing, from city council level all the way up the food chain.

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