(This post was inspired by the article “Tea Party Lights Fuse For Rebellion on Right” in the NY Times)
Through KingstonCitizens.org, a great deal of time and effort has been made to inspire the citizens of Kingston to work together and collectively take responsibility for the shape of their community and local government. Putting energy into local issues and “arming” oneself with the facts on any current topic is the most practical and effective way to change the world around us.
The creation of the recent Tea Party movement is not a big surprise to me – though I still find myself perplexed. Here, we live in a part of the world where it is possible to gather, discuss and propose new ideas. We have the freedom to insist that our government reflect our point of view and have the ability to change it if it does not in a non-violent manner.
But that can’t be done only during an election cycle. What relationship in your life works when you only check in with it once every 2-4 years or in crisis? Being civically responsible is a pact that we each need to make in order to live together in a reasonable and humane fashion.
In the midst of deep financial insecurity, it is simple to see how some of the values of the Tea Party might be appealing to many. But packing pistols and threatening to revolt as a way to take back a government – in this day and age – is a primitive and sinister shortcut.
In Kingston, Alderman from Wards one and five are actively reaching out and willing to meet monthly or as often as there is interest. I believe that all nine of our alderman would be willing to do the same if their constituents requested it. If you find that is not the case, then you can pull your neighbors together in the form of a community or neighborhood watch group.
Here’s another suggestion for the locals disheartened by their current local government administration. Insist on term limits and change the charter as it reads now. That’s a good initial step that would help to keep things moving along, and it’s entirely possible to accomplish.
Bring some new ideas to the table to help create a healthy community and strong local economy. Leave some here in the comment section if you’d like.
…and for those who choose to own a gun, put it back in the closet for crying out loud.