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Washington, DC 20002
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Government goes to those who show up, right? We've learned that we can't go to sleep and expect our nation to survive. Those with a penchant to support overbearing government programs to solve every societal ill never rest. Those of us who want to rein in government spending and fight for individual liberty cannot rest either. To limit government and keep it honest, we can't start at the top. We have to start at the bottom, at the most local level, where the trouble often starts. The best place to start saving the country is right where you are.
Local government controls much of what you and your family does on a daily basis. Whether it's water rights, local taxes, street signage or the curriculum being taught in your schools, you should have a voice and be involved. Find your passion and get busy. There are some activities that are easy to start doing that can produce immediate results, and give you a great sense of accomplishment along the way.
1. Attend a school board meeting.
Usually these take place every month, and are often posted in the school bulletin. You don't need to be a parent with kids in school to attend a school board meeting, nor even to run for school board yourself.
You can usually find your school board minutes online. Here's the site for my local school board, for instance.
Report on what happened on your blog, Facebook page, twitter, or on FreedomConnector.
2. Gather the schedules of meetings all of your local taxing bodies and other boards, committees, and groups into one place, and put the combined calendar on your blog or your social media pages. If you have a Google gmail account, for instance, you can share a calendar with the world or with a list of your local activists. You can then publicize the calendar on FreedomConnector and your other social sites where you have local connections.
3. Organize a group to attend meetings. If your group is large enough, only a few of you need to go to each meeting. Bring cameras or voice recorders and record the meeting, posting the results on your social sites. You never know when something newsworthy is going to happen.
What You Might Find
The town of Brocton, IL (population 322) passed a referendum in March, 2012 requiring the Brocton village government to retain its police department. The referendum passed by one vote. The village board refused to comply, voting to dissolve the department. That prompted outrage from citizens of the town. Here is a key exchange, skipping the first few minutes of the meeting:
It would be great to identify the public official here who said "The majority of the people didn't even vote." A majority of the people seldom vote in local elections, and in particular the ones in which these board members were elected. In America, we always count our electorate as those who choose to vote.
Illinois has an Open Meetings Act, requiring in the case of town councils that they discuss business only at meetings to which the public has access, and may go into "executive session" only to discuss a narrow list of topics, compliance with a referendum not being one of them.
Make a Difference
Your influence is strongest closest to where you live. It doesn't take much work to make your local officials straighten up and fly right, but it does take showing up, camera in hand, to let them know someone is watching.