William Crandell: From the ground upPublished 7:52pm Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Recently a good friend and fellow Democrat sent me an email concerning what he called living room meetings.
Living room meetings are small groups of people getting together in someone’s home to figure out ways to get involved in the upcoming elections and choosing which candidates they wish to support.
Unfortunately, he explained that not many people were interested in having such a meeting because they feel frustrated and believe that their vote and their contribution will not make a difference. But all democracy begins with the decision of the individual to participate in the process.
Real change begins by doggedly putting one foot in front of the other and getting out of your house or off that barstool and getting involved.
A good way to start is by getting together a small group of people who feel the same as you do about a handful of issues and discussing what to do about it. An excellent example of this is the South County Democratic Club here in Niles. They began in 2004 with four people talking in a restaurant that decided to form a group so they put out a flier announcing a meeting. Twenty people showed up the first time they met. Within a few years, they had 280 people attend one of their fundraisers, and they are now a true political force here in Berrien County.
In order for a democracy to flourish, people must take an interest and seize an active role in the decisions that will affect their lives. Right now, there are plenty of candidates looking for volunteers to man the phones, knock on doors or simply put a sign up in your yard showing your support.
Democracy begins with the individual; it begins from the ground up.
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