Your voice matters in your city as people elected to represent you make decisions about its future. Here are some ways to be sure you are heard:
- Find out who your city councilor or representative is. One way to do this is to check your city’s website. Or, if you are lucky enough to have a mail carrier like Mr. Pickles or a grandmother like Grans, they may be able to tell you!
- See what issues are being discussed at your city hall. You may find out what’s going on locally from a newspaper near you like The Hooch Happenings, or your city councilor may have an online newsletter or other way to share information about decisions that could affect you. You may discover a problem you care about — such as ducks in danger or roads that are not safe for people walking and riding bikes, as in Slow Duck Crossing — is not being discussed or solved!
- Send an email to your city councilor explaining your concerns and possible suggestions. You can also send it to the entire city council and mayor as well. Republish and amplify it on social media so even if you get ghosted, you are still getting your message out. You can change minds. Just look what happened to Councilor Ron Swell! And it never hurts to have a mayor like Mayor Jenny Ness in your corner!
- See if your city already has a Youth Commission. Many cities all across the USA do. If not, why not start one? Young people like you may also be already serving on other committees such as the Sustainability, Transportation, or Parks and Recreation Committees. Find out how to apply, and consider doing so!
- Show up at City Council meetings, just like Moxie did, and make a statement during the Public Comment period, usually near the beginning of the meeting. Your voice matters. You matter. And of course those baby ducks (or whatever you’ve noticed as things that can be better where you live) matter!
You have the power to make a difference. And I believe in you. But what do I know? I’m just a mailbox.