Since age 10, I’ve been interested in talking politics. I remember my age because that’s when I started working in my grandmother’s grocery store. I knew how to make change and could reach the cash register, so I was old enough to work.
Because I waited on customers and talked to adults about all kind of topics since the age of 4 or 5 when my great-grandmother took me with her to visit her friends, I always thought I was an adult. If I could carry on a conversation with these people, I was one of them. All I’m saying is I’ve been working on perfecting the art of conversation for a long time and focusing on political issues in the process.
I love talking to people, no matter what their age. I will have a conversation with whoever stops long enough to carry on a conversation with me. I want to know what they’re thinking. I want to know what makes them tick. I want to hear why they believe what they believe. I want to know if they care about people. I want to know if they’re all talk and no action.
When you talk to people as much as I do, your mind must be receptive to hearing what a person has to say. If you don’t, the conversation goes nowhere, and you learn nothing. If you dismiss the thoughts and opinions of the person to whom you are speaking, you’re wasting your time and theirs.
I’m not saying you will agree with everything a person says, you just need to listen. You can question their reasoning, but there comes a stage in the conversation when arguing is pointless.
There are about six weeks available to us in which we can talk to candidates before the June election. I suggest we talk to each candidate as often as possible. That means talk to the candidate, not only one of their supporters. Hear their words and look them in the eye when they speak to you. We are fortunate to live in a small town where we have access to the candidates. Don’t miss the opportunity to talk and listen to each of them.
Get excited about the upcoming election. Talk to your family and neighbors. No matter how much or how little time you spend talking about the election, make it count. You live here and have the responsibility and right to influence the election. Don’t say you care about the future of Boulder City and then not learn about the candidates. And, of course, make the time to vote.
Most of Boulder City’s voters did not bother to cast a ballot in the recent primary: Only 34 percent, or 3,517 voters out of 10,430 registered voters, did. That means 6,913 voters were otherwise occupied during early voting or on election day, had no reason to vote, had an emergency that prevented them from voting, didn’t think their vote counted, weren’t excited or interested in any of the candidates, didn’t know for whom to vote or didn’t care about their right and responsibility. Those 3,517 made a choice for the other 6,913 voters.
Are you happy with that? I’m not. Are you satisfied with others speaking for you? I’m not. What are you going to do about it if you’re not happy or satisfied?
It would be nice if people talked to each other about Boulder City issues. And, please, talk facts, not rumors or what you think might be the case about an issue. If you can’t attend council meetings, read the minutes, watch the video of the meetings. Talk to the candidates in person. Send them emails. Call them. If they don’t respond, that says as much as if they did. Go to the candidate speaking events.
I would like to see every candidate excite every voter enough to make them cast a ballot, but that is not going to happen. If you’re not excited by the candidates, get excited about the issues. I bet a few sparks could fly when talking about the pool or off-highway vehicles or refinancing debt.
Read the ballot questions. Talk to candidates. Ask questions. Get energized. And don’t forget to vote.
Rose Ann Miele is a journalist and was public information officer for Boulder City for nine years. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 702-339-9082.