Monday, April 12, 2010

Getting Involved and Making a Difference

Writing these weekly updates has allowed me to engage in a productive, ongoing dialog with those I represent. I receive a number of e-mails in response to each update.

One of the most frequent questions I receive is from those who are frustrated with the direction governing policy is taking and they want to get involved and make a difference. I believe the best way to get involved in helping to limit our government is to seek election to local level offices.

Oklahomans for Responsible Government (OFRG) recently published an excellent article about the current lack of interest in local elections. OFRG explained that in a number of recent local elections, very few took the time to vote.

Among others, OFRG pointed to the following examples: in the city of Noble, 30 individuals voted in a City Council election. The City of Wellston voted to continue a city sales tax after 34 people voted -- this from a population of 834. The Oklahoma City school district has an enrollment of 42,570 students, but only 263 voters voted in this month's Oklahoma City school board election.

OFRG quite correctly opined its disappointment about the lack of interest in local civic affairs. In an era when so many wish to get involved, it is disappointing to see that their interest does not translate to local affairs. Let's face facts; effecting change at the federal level is very difficult. However, billions of taxpayer dollars are funnelled through the federal government and spent by state, county, city, school and public trust governing entities. If these governments would be willing to stand up to the federal government even if it means refusing federal funds and the attached mandates, it could make a big difference.

In the past I have written about how state level governments defeated the federal effort at creating a national ID card simply by refusing to participate in the federal program. I believe this example of success could be duplicated time and time again if more state and local government entities would simply refuse to play the federal government's game of taking funding in exchange for giving away local control.

I would strongly encourage all those who want to make a difference to pay attention to local and state civic affairs. There are many opportunities to make a difference for those who are willing to sacrifice their time in order to help restore our country to that important vision of limited government envisioned by our founding fathers. As each level of government (municipal, county and state) is truly returned to governance by the people and for the people, the federal government will be positively impacted as well.

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