Change is difficult. When it comes to changes in this nation, we look at the election of top ranking officials who promise to create change for the better. Frequently, the change never reaches our local communities. Either the problem we had was not important enough to take into account or the promise was hollow from the beginning and nothing changes. The game of politics takes and sweeps all the hopes for a daily better life in our communities.
Change from the bottom to the top
Change from the top to the bottom almost always fails the small communities. If communities really want change, they should focus on the local government positions. In many small towns and cities, there has not been a local government change in years. When election time comes around, two things happen. Either the candidates for the local positions run unopposed or the community does not inform themselves and end up voting for the better known candidate. Hence, local officials stay in power for years even if they are not benefiting the community.
These positions are key in creating and maintaining change. In the right hands, these positions are powerful. A community can create a necessary internal change instead of having to wait for response from higher ranking individuals. Also, these positions offer a stronger voice for the people. A senator or house representative is more likely to listen to a mayor or city council member than a single regular day citizen. This is because they know that if they lose the support of a mayor or city council member, they are most likely going to lose support of the communities under them.
What to do then?
People in the communities need to simply get involved. There are plenty things people can do to get involved. Individuals can attend local town hall meetings to hear and find out what the local officials are doing to improve the community. They can inform themselves when election season rolls around. They can find out which local official is actually going to benefit their cause and which one is not. For those who really want change, they can run for those local government positions. If somebody is running unopposed, then individuals in the community need to stand up and fight for those positions. By challenging and winning those positions, the people who actually care about the community end up with the power.
The day small communities stand up and realize the power they will be the day American politics gets out of the stagnant mess it's currently in. Politicians will feel the fire and will either do what the people want or will end up booted out of their positions.