The other day, I spent 90 minutes online watching the Prevention Institute webinar, “Cultivating Prevention Champions: Making the Case to Local Elected Officials.” Although I’m someone who calls and writes elected officials regularly, I found the webinar well worthwhile.
My take-away from this training was something I believe in fully: All solutions are local. If the folks in any community want something badly enough, they can make it happen.
You may be thinking I’m crazy and don’t know what I’m talking about. You may be saying it’s impossible to change things or get something done because “the powers that be” have already decided what will happen.
You may think you have no voice, no power.
Folks forget the strength they have.
They don’t realize that in Boulder City, there are hundreds, possibly thousands of other people who think as they do about an issue. They don’t know what others are thinking because they don’t talk issues.
Folks don’t talk issues for as many reasons as they can manufacture. They don’t have time; the people they’re talking to disagree with them; you shouldn’t talk about things that will cause disagreement; there are more important things to do like cutting the grass, going to a garage sale or having a car washed. Hey, folks have their priorities.
Besides, the logic goes, individuals can’t change anything anyway, so why bother?
I could cite myriad examples in which one person, who was eventually followed by many, changed history. But let’s talk about what we as individuals can do to improve situations right here at home.
Fairly regularly, I email or talk to the city manager and council members about the city’s website, public information, customer service, council agenda items and many other things in between. For nearly 13 years, I have attended nearly every City Council meeting. I’m not looking for gold stars; I’m just saying I go.
Attendance at the most recent City Council meeting was pitiful. Hey, you may reason, we can watch the meetings on our computer or on BCTV, so why sit through them?
I believe people should attend council meetings because they can get up during public comment segments. There are three public comment periods and public comment after each agenda item to voice an opinion.
What can you say a lot in five minutes? A lot. I’ve done it.
I guess if you think everything in the city is just hunky-dory, there’s no reason to attend council meetings. It would follow that we don’t have to call, talk or email council members, right?
Well, the 400-plus people who joined the webinar I was in Nov. 11 wouldn’t agree. Issues all around us need attention: community wellness; curbing domestic violence and bullying; preventing drug and alcohol abuse; keeping our communities safe; and helping parents with no time for their kids because they’re working two jobs to make ends meet.
Some of these issues hit us personally; others affect our neighbors. All contribute to Boulder City’s overall wellness. In one way or another, we are all touched by issues that can’t be solved by one voice, or one city manager or one council member.
Our voices must come together in unison. They must make noise, beautiful noise, dramatic noise, noise that translates into local solutions. One by one, we need to share our concerns with one another, stop the indifference, get our priorities in order and make our voices heard.
I invited all of you to come to a recent party, and a couple of hundred kids and adults took me up on the offer. So, I’m inviting you to another party on at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 21 in Broadbent Park at the multipurpose building, 1204 Sixth St.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to converse with you.
Rose Ann Miele is a journalist and was public information officer for Boulder City for nine years. She can be reached at email@example.com or at 347-9924.