Civic engagement

There was an interesting conversation starter in the Star Tribune’s Morning Hot Dish yesterday morning about our politics in the United States. Why do so few Americans participate in politics? Is it that we are relatively healthy civically as the Strib takes on below? Or is it that we don’t think we can make change at our state capitol or in Washington? Or something else?

As political professionals, we do see our friends and family undervaluing their role in politics. “Normal” people don’t realize that ten calls, emails, tweets or Facebook messages on any given issue to a state or congressional office is very much noticed. Add in a few meetings with staffers and possibly a meeting with the elected official and they’ll think it’s the hottest issue in town. So, next time you’re having an issue with a government policy or government is ignoring something or someone, talk to your friends and neighbors and see if you can band together. There are so many modes of communication at our fingertips these days and we should use them.

And we’re here to help too, we’ve been helping people like you interact with our elected officials for years.

Hat tip to the Morning Hot Dish for the post idea.

Minneapolis StarTribune Morning Hot Dish, Attention must be paid

“A beautiful thing about living in the United States: We can ignore politics if we want. Not to say politics doesn't matter, especially if your community school is bad or you face risk of police harassment or work in a highly regulated industry. But for many Americans, politics is something to tune into every couple years, or four years, or not at all, and the change to their lives is at the margins, if at all. I've even heard an argument -- plausible but ultimately not persuasive -- that America's low voter turnout is a sign of civic health.

(Consider life in Israel or Turkey, even relatively democratic places where politics is a daily battle. To say nothing of the authoritarian states, where just retaining your humanity is a struggle.)

Can we ignore politics right now? It's all feeling a little different these days, isn't it? If you're a Trump supporter, you face withering attack from a determined and increasingly organized opposition. If you're a Trump opponent, you face a barrage of policies that are new in their bold assertion of the Trump agenda, laid out during the campaign but -- for whatever reason -- often not taken seriously during the 18 month slog.”