By: Kristin Clements-Effner, MSW Training Coordinator/Cofounder
Over the past week, my mailbox was bombarded with flyers from the aspiring elected officials (I think I topped out at 12 flyers in one day) and my favorite TV programs were halted for claims from both sides pointing fingers at each other. Ah yes, it was election time. Now, I am a strong advocate for voting in every election to make sure your voice is heard in the voting booth and for most of us that is where it stops. We hope that our elected representatives would make decisions that coincide with our values and priorities, but we all know that is not always the case.
Many people have become disengaged from voting from the perception of non-action, corruption, you name it. However, I would argue that is precisely the reason to vote and step up our involvement in the political process to demand action. Our engagement doesn’t end at our polling place, that is the beginning. We must follow-up with those that were chosen to represent us (whether you voted for them or not) to let them know what you want to see in our city and our nation. The responsibility is ours to hold elected officials accountable and to inform them of how decisions or the lack of decisions impacts our lives.
Here is an interesting article from the Pew Research Center about the role of generational differences in political participation http://www.people-press.org/2011/11/03/the-generation-gap-and-the-2012-election-3/