With each week, I take at least one more step forward into the world of activism and politics. Each time I take a step, I am more empowered and more enthusiastic about what I’m doing. This week was no exception. And yet I am also reminded that this is all new to me. This is the first time I’ve put myself out there in my own community. I don’t know what I’m doing, but I want to keep doing it so that I can learn.
I took a break this week from the D.C. cluster to focus on more local issues and actions. I’m still very much paying attention, listening to some of the Gorsuch hearings, following the attempt to repeal the ACA, and wondering what the heck is going on with Russia, but I didn’t dwell on it too much. Instead, I pushed myself into the room, into the arena, of local and state politics. It was exhilarating.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, I put my name in for consideration to become a precinct committee woman for the county Democrats. On Wednesday, I went to my first committee meeting to see if I would be selected for the position. It was a packed house in the conference room, and the energy in the room was palpable. For the first time since I started down this path, I was in a room full of engaged and enthusiastic citizens. Before Wednesday, out of the 32 precincts in the county, only 13 had a committee person. After Wednesday, that number doubled to 26 precincts. The best part? Many of the new precinct people are young professionals. And yes, I am one of the new precinct committee members.
After the voting/selection of new precinct people was completed, the chair of the county Democrats shared some words of wisdom. He said, to be most effective in politics, one must listen more than speak. To be a leader, listening is the way forward. It is important advice to remember, one that I intend to follow through on. My precinct is the subdivision that I live in, and I do not know my neighbors. I don’t know what it will be like to knock on doors, but I will do my best to listen to those willing to share their concerns and insights. In this way, I hope to learn more about and engage with my community. We all have something to learn from one another (although I do admit there are exceptions).
I stepped into the arena this week. And by doing so, I realized that I am not actually a “stay at home” dissident, but rather an awakening one. I have a dear friend to thank for this realization, and I greatly appreciate her suggestion. Remember, we have something to learn from one another, and we will all help each other along the way.