So your favorite candidate lost their election campaign. Or, perhaps you were the one running and you lost. That shows that you care very deeply about what is happening in the world and want to make a difference. Don’t stop just because the votes didn’t go your way.
The people running a town are always looking for hard-working volunteers – regardless of their political stripe. There must be some committee you can get involved in. Some are advisory committees – being a voice from the community about a particular topic. Some involve more elbow grease. But they are always making a difference.
There are plenty of ways to help out without setting foot in a municipal building, too. Don’t just look at politics as your only avenue to affect change. In fact, politics is sometimes the worst way to affect change. Indeed, politicians will often lament that they can’t get everything done that they want, or that they are only one vote among many on a council. They are tied up with negotiations, red tape, and having to kowtow to their party bosses so their hands are often tied, anyway.
If you think the only way to affect change is through politics, then you don’t understand politics. Any big change that’s made will be unmade when the next person gets in.
If you care about the environment, join a clean-up effort. If you care about the drug problem in our region, join a neighborhood watch. If traffic or overcrowding is your issue, push for more open space. These are changes that can happen right now. You don’t have to wait for someone to be sworn in.
Some of these issues are very complicated, and learning the cause of the problem might help you understand it better – and allow you to be more effective in combatting it. Learn where your taxes go and why. Watch public meetings and find out who makes decisions and why those decisions are made.
Another way to get involved is to become an advocate. Call your representatives. Write letters to the editor – firstname.lastname@example.org. Let the elected officials know that you care about these issues more than once every four years.