Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Reclaim your rights!

In a previous post, "Don't sit back", I discuss the requirement about the requirement for people to participate in public comment periods and become involved in shaping their communities. I just attended a conference which not only confirmed this thought pattern but took it one step further and discussed the requirement that people within the community need to start to participate as citizens.

What does this mean? Surely, by just occupying space within a community you are considered a citizen. I'm afraid not. We need people to start to participate in the political process to re-engage the politicians with their constituents and actually act on their (our) behalf rather than the large corporations that are currently hijacking the political process and our rights.

Stand up and be counted!

What can you do?

  • Contact your local political representative, at all levels of government (local, state and federal), and discuss your interests and express that as your elected representative (no matter what their party lines are) they should be representing you and your community! Bring your ideals, values and beliefs to the front and allow them to be counted and considered.  
  • Another thing to do is join up with some of the internet groups that represent your values (perhaps groups like GetUp, Australian Youth Climate Coalition, Avaaz, etc) and sign their petitions. Politicians are beginning to take notice of these group actions and make decisions based on these groups'/peoples' interests. 
  • Engage with people in your community and make them aware of your concerns/beliefs. Your beliefs may seem a little different to many that you share them with, but eventually you will link up with like-minded people and all these individual voices together will add up and be heard. 
  • Stand up for your convictions. Don't be scared to rebut other people's opinions and create useful debate. With such dialogue, learnings can be made and challenges can be explored.  
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