EDITORIAL: Pick an issue, any issue

Posted 2/28/17

If there is one thing good coming out of Washington, D.C., it is a resurgence of interest in the political process and how laws and government can impact our daily lives – and how citizens need to …

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EDITORIAL: Pick an issue, any issue

Posted

If there is one thing good coming out of Washington, D.C., it is a resurgence of interest in the political process and how laws and government can impact our daily lives – and how citizens need to get, and stay, informed and involved.

It’s happening at the local level in Port Townsend as lawmakers and citizens alike weigh the impact of words and try to understand the definition of “sanctuary city,” and what such a designation might mean. The meetings have been packed, the conversation robust.

It’s happening at the state level where Gov. Jay Inslee and Attorney General Bob Ferguson take on the Trump administration’s executive order on immigration in federal court.

It’s happening at the high school level. Four Jefferson County students recently joined 200 other high school students in Olympia in a 4-H-sponsored Know Your Government program aimed at teaching students more about the judicial branch of government. That’s been happening for a while, but young people seem more engaged than ever.

There are serious issues that are confronting our nation, our state and all of us locally.

In the state Legislature, there are daily discussions on funding for education and infrastructure

So where do we, as citizens, get involved without becoming exhausted? Should we get involved at the local, state or national level?

Pick an issue, any issue, that matters to you – health care, education, immigration, open public records laws, whatever means something to you. Then study the issue.

While it can be heartbreaking to hear about a favorite law being unraveled, it is equally heartening to see people step up to take action.

Take note that in Jefferson County, there are a number of organizations starting up, including several chapters of Indivisible, aimed at resisting the Trump agenda. There are chapters in Port Ludlow, Port Townsend and on Marrowstone Island.

And while it may appear that the local Jefferson County Democratic Party is imploding after the abrupt resignation of chair Linda Medeiros Callahan, who served only a few weeks after the local party’s controversial election in December, the meetings of Democrats have been large, with dozens, if not more than 100 people at a time, wanting to get involved.

Meetings of county commissioners, hospital commissioners and the Port Townsend City Council have been well attended, with more people than ever taking an interest in the issues.

So pick an issue, any issue, and rekindle your enthusiasm for the responsibilities of citizenship in the United States of America.

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