It’s so easy, sitting in the comfort of our homes, safely behind a keyboard, to fire away on social media, fighting with those we don’t agree with, complaining about Republicans, Democrats, and politics in general. I encourage everyone reading this to think about an issue they really care about and find a way to be involved in that issue.
There are many ways to be involved in our community. One way is serving on a city board. You can see all the vacancies by going on the city website and clicking on the “Government” tab. Most city boards meet once a month, for an hour or two, and terms are either two or four years with a term limit of eight years. There is a board for any issue or cause, from city boards to agency specific boards.
I highly recommend getting on the United Way of Greater Augusta website. There you can look through all their posted volunteer opportunities from a variety of local agencies and nonprofits. You can peruse the idenitified needs in our community and see where you could lend a helping hand to an agency that desperately needs volunteers to keep doing their amazing work. Some of the local agencies looking for help include CASA, WARM, Valley Program for the Aging, Habitat for Humanity Re-Store, and so many more.
Another way to get involved is through the local political committees. I have served as chair of the Waynesboro Democratic committee for over a year now. We have our biannual reorganization meeting coming up on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at the Democratic Headquarters in Willow Oak Plaza. During this meeting, people can throw their hat in to serve as chair, vice chair, secretary and treasurer. We are always looking for new people to serve in these leadership roles.
Next year will prove to be an exciting time to be involved, with the presidential primary in March and then the general election in November. Whether you want to serve in a leadership role or not, we need all hands on deck for the 2020 election, so think about attending the reorganizational meeting to see how you can help with the elections next year in a leadership or volunteer role.
Lastly, the best way to get involved is to run for office. Every election is important and while the presidential elections get all the attention and higher voter turnouts, city council, school board and state elections affect your day to day lives more than the president.
Are you frustrated that it took so long to fix the Florence Street Bridge? Are you frustrated about your property taxes? Are you frustrated with the lack of curbside recycling? The only way to change the things that frustrate us is to come up with a solution. Sometimes that solution is electing someone who has committed to the issue; sometimes it’s up to you to be that person. Run for something.
The world is run by those who show up. Think about that. Think about all the things you are seeing right now, are you satisfied with how that world is being run now? Are you satisfied with the people who are currently showing up and running things? If not, do something about it. Complaining on Facebook solves nothing. Complaining on Twitter solves nothing. The only thing, literally the only thing, that has ever sparked change is organizing with like-minded people and getting involved.
I challenge everyone reading this column to think of one way you can be involved in your community, one way you can serve the community that we all love.
I believe that part of being patriotic is giving back to your community. I believe that when you have the time, passion and energy it is your civic duty to get involved in something outside of your home and job. What’s preventing you from getting involved?