I can answer the first question with one word: 'kids'. Kids are growing up in a world that is changing by leaps and bounds with technology year by year. We live in a world that passes information, ideas, and technology at astounding rates. Issues affecting our community are decided on by people who hold elected office, and those politicians represent us. They represent our opinions and values. They make decisions on the type of community we live and raise our kids in. Who those people are should be a great concern to us because they are forming the policy which shapes the community our kids grow up in.
Answering the question of what it means to be involved is simpler than you might think. Politics can be a confusing, painfully boring, aggravating subject. Recently I had a conversation with a mother of a young child. I wanted to introduce a local candidate to her preschool group of 50+ moms. She decided to cancel the meeting because it seemed to her, "Moms of preschoolers really are not that interested in Politics--especially local Politics." This statement concerned me greatly. We are missing the boat if we don't utilize the tools we have to elect people who will make good decisions for our communities. We need to know who they are, if they represent us, and how they are going to legislate. We need to be responsible as parents of people who have no public voice or ability to vote, and insure they live in a healthy community which reflects our values. Our local representatives are important because they make decisions literally in our backyards--directly affecting our lives.
Being 'involved' can mean you inform yourself on candidates for election, (there are some local and of course presidential in November 2012) and vote. Involvement can mean that you write emails, or phone politicians holding office to let them know your opinion. Locally, you can show up for meetings for the City Council, City Planning and Development, School Board Meetings, or read summaries of meetings provided by the City of Issaquah website. You may even give testimony to the WA State Legislature on subjects you're passionate about. Any of these things are becoming 'involved'--from simply voting to becoming an advocate. Even if you can't or choose not to vote, informing yourself and letting your opinion be heard to politicians is a way to be involved. You may ask, "Do they really listen?" I can say they (politicians) do for the most part. Hey, if they don't --work to replace them! One politician said to me, "If a constituent (that's someone in their district) shows up in my office, I stop what I'm doing and listen to them. If they write me a letter, I write them one back myself." His reasoning was simple. "I was elected to serve. How would I be doing my job if I didn't listen to the people who put me here?" Politicians may not do what one or two of us want, but when more of us speak and say predominately the same thing, it makes a difference.
It is my intention in offering this blog, to provide tools for involvement, give factual, unbiased, understandable information on political activity in Issaquah districts, tell you who is running for election, and inform you on PTA issues.
Even if I'm not your Legislative Advocate, I hope that the information contained in this blog can inspire you to become more politically aware and at the very least, register to vote and vote in each election.