Government by “The People”

Written By: Miranda - Mar• 03•11

In a small state like Vermont, that means you. I’ve been thinking about this for a while and at Town Meeting I asked about being on the Planning Commission. I know they’ve got three people leaving for one reason or another and they need people badly.

I’m used to thinking of myself as a good citizen because I always vote, because I go to the yearly Town Meeting, because I write letters to the editor about issues I care about, because if I really care a lot (like when we were building up to going to war with Iraq) I’ll go out and walk in the cold with a lot of other people. But I haven’t given service time to my town government and it’s a lot of work to keep a town running. I’d rather volunteer at the Historical Society, truth be known, but that’s probably why the Planning Commission needs the people. Besides, a posting on the town listserve claims there are cookies at the meetings.

I’ve heard that one should “Think Globally, Act Locally” and just as I haven’t been thinking globally, I haven’t been doing a lot of acting locally either. Not in terms of the real work. It means giving up some evenings when I’d rather just go home and lie on the couch.

Following people from far away on Twitter has really opened up my world to things I never used to think about because it’s work. It’s work to learn about other countries and stay aware of what’s happening in them. To care. It’s so much easier to not pay attention.

It’s so much easier to just go to work and come home and not bother to go spend your evening at a meeting of some town committee too but I’m beginning to think democracy takes more work than I’ve been putting into it.

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