We all know that all politics is local.
We know that most Americans are simply too busy to attend Council meetings unless it involves a specific interest affecting their neighborhood or something they feel passionate about.
Members of Congress, while on recess, are coming back to their districts to educate, inform and try to obtain support for HR3200 to reform health care.
Why are so many people attending these so-called “town hall” meetings and questioning what congress is trying to do? Could it be that many people are very worried about the economy, the loss of jobs, the massive federal funding for banks, auto companies, insurance companies? The list goes on.
Could it be that we are worried about crime, our safety, our quality of life and the degradation of some many services at the local level, that people are saying enough is enough? Is it a trust issue?
Like it or not, the growing level of frustration will overspill into our local city council chambers. Many Americans simply feel their voice is not being heard and they will start demanding their voices be heard. Not only on local issues, but on issues regarding state and national issues.
Where else can the regular citizen attend a public meeting, close to their home, with their concerns reported in the newspapers, local cable T.V., twitter, blogs, etc.
All city councils have a place on the agenda that allows the public to comment on any item not posted on the agenda.
Some city councils may say thank you for your comments, but the issue is not within the purview of the city council. And while that may be the case, that still remains a public place where the public can say anything that is on their mind.
The council may not take any action or even comment, but the public’s right to have their voices heard is met.
Regardless if the issue is at the local, state or national level, the more people who express their opinion, the more public discourse will occur.
And that is where the best public policy begins.
Perhaps we can hear more from the readers of PublicCEO.com on the general attitude of their citizens. Have you noticed the public commenting on issues before the city council that are more global?
Rick Kirkwood recently retired following 32 years in public administration; 29 years as a City Manager in California, Washington and Utah. You can weigh in on his blogs through the comment board below.