Friday, June 17, 2011

Starting out

I confess, I like to have an opinion. I'm not shy to state it when I have one and was surprised to one day realize not everyone wants to hear it when I do. That's true. Growing up, everyone around me had an opinion. I learned to hear them out and usually, I would jump in and have a say. No one was labled stupid and frequently people would cry. It was a lively discussion group - my family, around the table.

I like civic participation because everyone gets to have a say. I am fortunate to have a job doing it. I like to help others develop a civic voice, so I like being a grassroots organizer. I work with a group of advocates for community health centers, and share staff calls with the federal affairs office of the national association. They are all top-notch. I get to register voters, call on Congress, coach people into contacting their Congressmen/women too.

I speak at public hearings when needed. I write letters to the editor sometimes. I held a public office for two terms and enjoy knowing local politicos, activists and staffers in government. I like to influence policy. I think everyone should.

Today a Pew study stated Facebook users are far more likely to be politically engaged. In my advocacy work, I'm trying to find ways to engage people in social media. Today I posted a message on Facebook - on my profile and one other that I manage professionally -
Remember, Sunday is Father's Day...What interests did your dad inspire you to discover?
My dad inspired me to consider public service & feel confident speaking my mind.

It takes some courage to have a voice. I am pushing my limits, wanting to speak out just a little farther here. How can I encourage others to adopt new practices and confidence if I don't push myself to do that too?

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