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Historic Veto Session leaves Missourians frustrated.
Why is it that we expect more from elected public servants than from ourselves? We demand and expect them to stand up, sometimes alone, in a chamber full of their peers and fight for us, yet we don’t do it in our own communities!
When we get frustrated with our elected representatives in Jefferson City (and Washington) who don’t stand up for us, our knee-jerk response is to try to elect someone else in their place and hope that new representative will listen to us.
But think about it . . .
How can we get mad at an elected official who goes to Washington or Jefferson City and doesn’t represent us when we don’t take care of business in our own backyards?
Here is an example. The education agenda for the 2013 Legislative Session put forth by the Missouri GOP lead by Speaker Tim Jones.
This was an agenda that was strongly supported on both sides of the aisle, especially those representing failing urban districts. Now what they did get passed may not be considered historic, as they had first hoped in the early days of sessions. But some represantives showed admirable courage, prudence, and fortitude Pushing the reforms.
Yet many Missourians were left feeling hopeless and frustrated that the “meat” of the legislation didn’t pass. The feeling was compounded because the GOP holds a super majority in both state houses!
Some say it was those “Rural RINOS” who don’t have the guts to stand up against their Superintendents and School Boards back home. But, is that really the problem?
I say NO
.In my opinion, we are the problem!
It is time to look in the mirror and ask ourselves a couple of questions:
· Do I have the fortitude to stand up to my local school board or city council?
· Do I have the courage to publicly disagree with the teacher’s union of which my child’s “favorite teacher” is a member?
· Do I have the courage to stand up in public and disagree with my neighbor who is a member of the school board?
The hallways and chambers in Jefferson City were packed for a few days this past week. People traveled from all over the state to see this historic veto session. Yet our county, city and school board chambers remain literally empty. People who will drive 200 miles for rally at the Capitol won’t drive two blocks to influence their school boards
Need I remind you that, “change begins at home” and that “all politics is local”.
Self-governance is your duty, not someone else’s
If you want to influence change, you have to get informed, educated, and engaged in issues involving your local communities.
If you are not willing to publicly challenge your school administration or board, than don’t expect your elected officials to do it for you in Jefferson City or Washington DC.
And please drop the excuse regarding fear of backlash to your kids, because that is what the bureaucrats running these broken systems count on: fear.
When we stop freezing out of fear and start acting out of courage in our local communities, politicians in Jefferson City will do the same!
Eilleen Tyrrell co-founded Rockwood Stakeholders for Real Solutions. Her leadership influenced Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich to audit Rockwood School District. The audit uncovered numerous scandals, forcing the superintendent and two board members to resign. Eileen is president-elect of Meramec Republican Township.