I have been very fortunate to have seen democracy work at close quarters.
Last year, my part of the town was at risk of being redistricted from elementary school perspective (that is instead of going to our home school, part of the incoming kindergartners were assigned to a different school). The neighborhood came together, brainstormed strategies to oppose the proposal and showed up at town meetings to voice our dissent. While I can’t claim to have played an active role, just being their passively was an eye opening experience. I learnt some valuable lessons that night as we high fived each other for making our voices heard – every single person counts in a democracy, never underestimate the power of your voice, and there is magic in numbers.
Tomorrow, it is election day in my town. We will be electing our Selectman, and School Committee members, amongst other positions. My next door neighbor and a good friend is contesting for school committee position because she believes that true change begins at grassroot levels. I second that, I second her, and it has been a privilege to support her in small ways. After seeing my neighbor work for the contest, I have a newfound respect for these elected officials, who take these positions for the love of the town and to influence policies and decision making. These are voluntary positions that involve significant time commitment. So next time you meet these elected officials, remember to say a Thank You. They are working hard to make our voices heard, that’s the least we can do.