2013 Elections / Hampton Roads / Local / Politics / Virginia

ICYMI: Change begins with us

Be-The-Change-Gandhi-Poster-(4449)My latest op-ed, title above, appeared in The Virginian-Pilot Thursday.

As I was hauling trash to the curb yesterday, one of my neighbors stopped me to talk about the column. His first question: who is the third candidate for governor? I doubt if he’s the only one who is unaware of Robert Sarvis.

The-Change-CurveIt seems the only information we consume these days is that which is pushed to us. Despite the plethora of information available, it seems we’ve lost the ability to seek it out. It is something I see daily, as if we are all stuck in the depression part of The Kübler-Ross change curve.

I think we can do better. I think we can shake off the depression and move towards a much more productive state, where we citizens engage in the political process, not simply by showing up to vote on Election Day, but by being a part of the decision-making that goes on much, much earlier. I’d love to see all 100 seats in the House of Delegates be contested, but I can’t spend time now worrying about spilled milk. My own delegate is one of the 44 not facing a challenger. I can sit on my hands or I can help in the 56 races that are contested.

As a citizen activist, my choice is the latter. As a resident of Hampton Roads, my focus is on those contested races in my community. I’m nether rich nor do I have unlimited time. But I can write about the candidates and talk to others about them.

Starting next week, I’ll be profiling, on this blog, the contests in Hampton Roads. Hopefully, that will be a source of information, should some wish to seek it out.

My column appears in The Virginian-Pilot every week, usually on Thursdays. You can see the columns as they are published here, or navigate to them from the PilotOnline.com homepage by clicking on Opinion and then choosing my name at the bottom of the dropdown list. You can also see the columns by liking my Facebook page. Although my column appears weekly, I am not and have never been an employee of The Virginian-Pilot.