Julian Omidi, co-founder of Civic Duty, discusses the importance of participating in your local community events.
Communities are built on the involvement of government officials, private companies and its citizens. Sadly, participation in many aspects of our communities is dwindling. The lack of involvement has some serious repercussions.
The Importance of Voicing Your Opinion
One of the ways people can participate within their communities is through voting in local elections. This is how a community selects its future leaders. However, local elections are seeing an all-time low in voter participation.
In Chicago’s Mayoral election, only 35% of the voting population went to the polls. That statistic should raise concern. Seeing how Chicago is one of the major cities in the US, the majority of the public is not expressing their political opinion. Thus, political leaders who will make important decisions are chosen by a small percentage of citizens.
Voting is the most basic and least time consuming way you can participate within your local community and the politics of the entire nation. It simply requires showing up on Election Day and voicing your opinion.
Advocacy and Organization
Outside of voting, there are other ways to become more involved in your community. You can join advocacy groups and organizations that deal with the issues of your town. These can range in topic, but many can be helpful to individuals and your community as a whole.
Think about the issues that matter to you, is it education? Is it homelessness? By defining the issues that matter most to you, you can determine how you can spend your spare time helping organizations. If education is important, maybe join your local school board. If homelessness is something you care deeply about, you can volunteer at a shelter or help charities dedicated to aiding the homeless.
Americans have a great opportunity with the start of campaigning for the 2016 presidential elections. You are able to follow the campaigns on television, print as well as online. You can become involved in the conversations through social media. You can even volunteer for your preferred politicians campaign.
Politics, whether local or national, should matter. We have the right to elect our leaders and we should feel obligated to act upon that right. To do so helps us have a small role in guiding history.
Be good to each other,
Julian Omidi is the co-founder of civicduty.org, a nonprofit that advocates for participation in politics and the communities around you.