As the election season kicks into full gear, November for Federal and March 2013 for our local government, it’s prudent to take a moment to identify what it is we want from our votes. As simple as that idea may sound, I wonder why we don’t take the time as a community to discuss this very broad and sweeping idea of government – especially in an era when most people, if you trust polling, express profound dissatisfaction with politicians.
In real terms, our votes carry significant meaning every time we exercise that right and they should be made with purpose and intention. That requires that we know, philosophically, just what it is that we want from the people we elect. In this, I am not just talking about the specifics – a road paved or the preservation of a historical landmark. Rather, I speak of the purpose of government.
I have always been enamored by the writings and philosophies of Thomas Jefferson, one of our founding fathers and the author of the Declaration of Independence. One particular quote is a favorite of mine and I will do my best to paraphrase it here, “the best government is one in which the average citizen is comfortable participating every day, not just election day”.
That is the government I seek; the one in which real people feel as though their voices have value in city halls and state seats, where solutions, even distasteful ones, are made inclusively in a manner that is palatable to each and every person affected. Not everybody has to take part in this process or even consider it, but everyone must know that the option is there for all to express their needs in a meaningfully format and our elected officials are always hoping for their participation.
In short, I hope for a government that serves its people and this is the reason that I have chosen to pursue public office. I believe that public policy should be built from the ground up in as organic a manner that remains functional and every effort must be made by our representatives to seek out our hopes, our dreams, and our opinions – positive and negative – about the way government is currently working.
Only when we return to an era in which public officials become steadfast community servants; only when real people feel as though they have been taken seriously, and only when we as a community have all been heard will the tenets of Thomas Jefferson become real and tangible to us in every corner of our lives.
I am running for Los Angeles City Council in District 11. That covers my own neighborhood of Westchester in addition to Playa Del Rey, Del Rey, Playa Vista, Venice, Mar Vista, Palms, Pacific Palisades, Brentwood, and West LA. Please feel free to contact me at your convenience. I look forward to discussing LA’s very bright future with you, both during my effort to win your support and throughout my tenure as your representative, should you grant me that honor.