I just returned home from 3 hours making phone calls for a candidate to the Oregon House of Representatives. I met Ken Moore at the McMinnville Farmers’ Market 3 weeks ago. He asked us to vote for him and I did not ask him what party he represented. I don’t chose the best person that way,
I asked him to tell me what he felt were important issues that he hoped to address if he got elected. He asked me if I wanted to hear his views on education. Of course!
He thinks (and I do also) that is it pretty appalling that Oregon’s graduation rate is only 86%. It makes me wonder why so many kids quit school. But Ken wants to be a problem solver. He wants to make improvements while being careful not just to throw more money at the situation. He has seen where local businesses can not find employees and one actually provided the equipment and trained the teacher so the students could learn a skill that would make them employable. It is private-public arrangements like this that Ken wants to pursue. He also wants to reduce classroom sizes because a teacher who is struggling to address the needs of 30 students will miss connecting with some.
Now I wouldn’t know all that if I had not taken a few minutes to talk with him. And now that I give 3 hours a week to his campaign I am amazed at the number of people I call who REFUSE to talk with me. They tell me they have no concerns. (I doubt that.) They tell me they don’t get involved in politics. (But perhaps your involvement, by simply informing your elected representatives what you think, might make a big difference.) They tell me they don’t care. (Really? Is that why you were so angry?)
So many people believe that the existing government is a mess. Some people will vote the party line, not knowing at all if any of the people they will support actually have opinions that complement theirs.
Wake up people! We live in a democracy only because the PEOPLE (remember, WE THE PEOPLE?) use the opportunity they have to share their opinion.
If you chose to sit and be silent, the issues you complain about are your own fault. Apathy will not make improvements. It gives power to people who are thrilled you chose to be silent.