The long election season is now at an end. Many of you are probably saying “Thank goodness!” I don’t blame you. Many of our local campaigns started in 2011, and the Republican candidates for President started quietly before that! Elections are important, but it is understandable that people are beginning to get frustrated. Keep one thing in mind - active citizens are what keep our Democracy strong, and we need as many people involved in making sure our local government works here in Cobb.
The first way to get involved is attend the numerous town hall meetings that take place throughout the county! We are fortunate many of our local public officials regularly hold these meetings to interact with their constituents. It may inconvenient that this takes some time out of an evening, but think of how difficult our life could be if elected officials didn’t care about our opinions! Look at states like Illinois, where corrupt officials have ruined the state, raised taxes, and run for office to simply further their career. If we don’t stay vigilant in Georgia, the same could happen here.
The second way to be an active citizen is getting to know your elected officials at the State Capitol. During the legislative session that starts in January, take a day to go visit and see the legislative bodies in action. The flurry of activity at the capitol will show you not only the best of what can happen in developing the legislation that affects our lives, but can also show how often the good intentions are set aside for personal gain . The Gold Dome is an important location that we should all take the time to visit. After all, you own the building!
Most importantly, try not to treat these elections as an annoyance.Use them as opportunity to learn ways to make our community better and education our children. You have important choices to make, and the people you elect will have a very important impact on your lives and the lives of your children. Judges will apply the law in the courtroom, and the wrong judge can mean justice isn’t served. Self-serving politicians will only help themselves at the expense of your tax dollars, while true public servants will ensure that the government works for you. Get to know the candidates on a personal level. Most will be happy to spend some time talking to you if you show an interest in why they are running for office. The election process allows for a new beginning and a fresh perspective on how to operate our government effectively, efficiently, and honestly. See you at the polls!