The next two weeks are the best time to get results from elected officials
During election time the blame game is in full swing, and in many cases, citizens feel their only option is to sit on the sidelines until Election Day to cast their vote. In a democracy, each of us has a duty to stay civically engaged all year round. There are hundreds of ways to participate beyond the ballot box and contribute to our community's quality of life.
One of the easiest ways to be involved is becoming a "citizen legislator" by devising common-sense solutions to address community issues. And there is no better time to make a constructive solution than right before an election. Elected officials running for another term are usually much more responsive to citizen's presentations right before an election.
Here are some helpful hints for citizens making a presentation:
- Do your homework. Has the governing body already taken action to address your issue? Does your proposal cost money? Are there grants or state aid available to cover the costs?
- Be respectful. Stay away from smear tactics, and campaign rhetoric, let your idea stand on its own. To do this, you need to show respect to earn respect. If you want your proposal taken seriously, you need to show courtesy to the decision-makers. Taking a "no-blame approach" will greatly increase your chances
- Get a Commitment. Don't take "thank you" as an answer. Since the election is so close, it is best to get your elected officials to make a specific time commitment, such as, "we will put this on the agenda for the next meeting."
Don't wait, do something. Now's the best time to get results.
Want more tips? The Citizens Campaign offers a free online class to teach people how to use the no-blame approach to get results in their community. Take the "Citizen Legislator" class for more tips on identifying an issue, developing a solution, and getting results.