I think we can all agree on one thing; this Presidential election cycle has been nuts, and it doesn’t look like the crazy train is going to stop anytime soon.
This got me to thinking. Of course voting in the Presidential primaries and general election is improtant. There’s no doubt that the candidates are facing a ton of important issues, but the reality is, very few of them really impact my household, my business, my family or my immediate community to an extreme degree. No matter who is elected into the highest office in the land, my day-to-day life will remain relatively unchanged.
Is the President of the United States going to come into my community and fight to repair the roads, support our local business, or find creative ways to make our community safer and cleaner? Absolutely not! That’s what our local politicians and government officials are in place for. This is where real change happens, and where the voice of the people truly comes into play. This is where you help make your little corner of the American Dream better.
“But Lee, why do you care?” Glad you asked! This is the first election cycle I’ve been involved in since retiring from the Navy. In the past few years, I have purchased a home and thrown down roots in Lake Orion, Michigan. This is a thriving, growing community filled to the brim with great people. I love it so much that I decided to open my own coaching business here. If you have to have a place to take a leap of faith, this is a great place to do it. Odds are you feel the same way about your community.
The shift happened for me when I saw a community not far from mine in crisis. Flint, Michigan to be specific. Fingers started to point everywhere, from the Mayor to the Governor and beyond into the Federal Government. But, while everyone in the large media cycle’s focus was busy trying to figure out who to blame, it was the local government that took action. There was less of, “how did we get here,” and more of “ok, we’re here, let’s do something to help our people.” Sure, the media at large was still focusing on the atrocities and blame game, and anytime a celebrity decided to donate or make a statement about it, it made great news. But, it was, and still is, the local politicians and government officials that are attempting to help the average person.
This brings me back to my own community, Lake Orion. I have been afforded the enormous opportunity to attend more than a few campaign kick-offs in the past month or so. Something I’ve come to realize is these people running for local office aren’t just “politicians.” They are my neighbors. They have the same concerns and desires I have. As you can see from the picture, I support a couple of them adamantly, with more to follow soon. These are people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting in person. I shook their hands, talked to them at length, and looked into their eyes and hearts. What I saw was good people, with good intentions, ready and willing to sacrifice their time, money and privacy for the betterment of my family and my community. They didn’t just earn my vote; they have earned my trust and gratitude. After all, that’s what your vote really is; an extension of trust.
One last thing. Support your local candidate any way you can. Let’s be honest here. Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders want your financial support, but do they really need your money? Each of them has plenty to go around. You want to talk about self-funding? Look at your local candidates. These are everyday people, just like you, who need your support. Whether it’s financial, door-knocking, attending kick-offs and rallies, or just simple moral support by giving them a “like and share” on Facebook, every little bit helps.
If you want to get America heading in the direction you think it should, start with your own back yard.