After months of unrelenting political rancor and divisiveness, the 2012 election is now history. I’m motivated to share send this message with a few ideas about next steps.
Regardless whether your candidates prevailed or not, we can be thankful that our country’s political battles are fought at the ballot box, not in the streets. Now that the people have spoken, it’s time for our leaders to craft their agendas in response to pressing issues… from the economy and national budget deficit, to energy independence, immigration, national security, and a range of environmental, social, education, justice and health policies.
Whether you’re feeling exuberantly celebratory or sadly shell-shocked, I trust you’ll agree that it’s time to unify and pledge to work together to construct a positive future. That’s one reality we all share…the future is ours to determine!
Transforming politics into policy-making is the task at hand.
I’ve been through many victories and disappointments in observing elections for most of my life, but still hold to my belief that all candidates deserve to be honored for their willingness to run for office.
So few of us are courageous enough to step across the line and commit to being a candidate. Representative democracy depends upon those who consider elective public service as an important expression of leadership. While I may disagree with some of their policies, I never forget to thank them for their willingness to serve.
While it’s logical to take the step of congratulating the victors, and we should, how many of us send messages to those who were defeated… this time around? I urge you to let those who did not “win” know that their effort is appreciated. Please remember that many candidates do choose to run again, and today’s “loser” may well be a “winner” in the future.
Every election is a multiple choice test… but what amazes me is how many qualified citizens choose to let others make the decisions. To me, not voting is the most inexcusable act of neglect in a democracy. So many more citizens can be convinced to participate in the future… if they feel they have a stake in the results.
One ideal for all of us to strive for, no matter our political leanings, is to inspire greater participation in our process of government at all levels. Informed voting is one step, but keeping in touch with our public officials is a key to effective advocacy. Winning an election is only the first step in public service. Acting to bring positive change is the job description for all of us, and each of us is obligated to be vocal advocates for the policies and programs we believe need attention.
Anonymity is the antithesis of effectiveness in a democracy. Knowing our elected officials and their staff members, and having them know us, is our greatest opportunity to exercise influence.
I am committed to be in touch with you, to send positive messages and inspire new partnerships. There are strategies to develop, skills to hone, and plans of action to be implemented. As an advocate, I’m dedicated to assist leaders whose mission is creating better policies and more accessible programs to meet the needs of family members… across the generations. The time is ripe for creative approaches and cooperative activities.
Please let me know how I can be of assistance in pursuit of mutual goals for our families and communities. I’m available to deliver keynote speeches and lead strategy seminars on a diversity of topics for professional development and community partnerships. Consider inviting me to inspire and empower at an event you are involved in planning. You’ll find my bio sketch at http://www.4gen.org. Click to the link under my photo. A reply to me will get us in touch to discuss options and opportunities.
Jack Levine, Founder
P.O. Box 1227 Tallahassee, FL 32302
The Advocate’s Credo:
Thou art my child, my parent, and my elder,
I love thee best,
But could not love thee half as much,
Loved I not all the rest.