I keep my political beliefs to myself, rarely even doing so much as comment on the opinions of others, as I find politics is one of the touchiest belief systems around. I do what I can to make a difference myself by going to polls on Election Day and voting my conscience, wherever that may lead me. And I’m not going to be changing that now!
That being said, there are some political maneuverings occuring in my town of Monroe, NY that I think are worth mentioning. My town is proving that it really is possible for two opposing parties to work together to get something done, and perhaps these small-scale efforts could teach our national “leaders” a thing or two. Quite frankly, the foot-stamping, temper-tantrum-throwing that our elected officials are demonstrating right now makes our entire country look like one big Romper Room, and needs to stop immediately. Neither party looks good right now.
Now, back to my town.
Last year, our town board purchased a movie theater at a cost of nearly a million dollars. There had been no referendum, no public comment cycle, and no notice regarding the purchase. One day the town didn’t own the theater, overnight they bid and won the bid to purchase the theater, and the next day the town’s coffers had decreased by $900K.
Whether on the pro or con side of this purchase, needless to say, an overnight purchase of that size with no warning caused all sorts of consternation by the electorate in our town. Some concerned residents decided to do something about it; they got together and fought the purchase (which is still an ongoing lawsuit). Not only did they fight that purchase, they started investigating other town activities, resulting in concerns about the way the current board was conducting business. And what started as one issue morphed into a much bigger effort.
Some of these concerned citizens came together and they decided new leadership was needed in our town. There are three seats that will be up for grabs with this upcoming November election. The incumbents were all going to be running again; one a republican and two democrats. But rather than pitting republican against democrat and visa versa, the group decided it made a lot more sense to pit concerned citizens against incumbents.
So these folks developed a new party, the United Monroe party. They needed 517 signatures on the petition to make their party a success, and by the time they submitted their petition, they had over 2,200. They defined their platform as one of accountability, civility and transparency, and they have been doing regular grass roots politicking. Going door to door, doing fundraisers and awareness raising campaigns. They hope to be able to put the Accountability, Civility and Transparency traits into practice in 2014.
I don’t know how this will all wind up, because the election has not happened at the time of this writing. In a mere three weeks, though, the town of Monroe NY will know whether the new United Monroe party will be able to replace incumbents with new vision. They’ll know whether the same typical apathetic turnout will occur at the polls, or whether instead, lines of voters will wrap around voting facilities. Soon, the results will be known (and I will post them here).
What I do know now, though, is the following. There are already results! The efforts of the United Monroe team have already made a difference. Many people are getting involved. There are signs all over town, from both sides of the fence. There are articles and editorials. People actually CARE about what is happening. And, something that is simply not evident in national politics, ALL parties are working together to make change where they feel change is needed. Republicans, Democrats, and Independents, are working as a team to get things done. Because things have to change, and whatever it takes, that’s what our town is going to do.
So, my question is. Why can’t our national government do the same thing?
Our relatively small town has proven that…..
Democrats and Republicans (and Independents) CAN work together, believe it or not.