A few years ago, I had a bit of a crazy thought. In 2020, I considered running for office in my town. I didn’t know how far I should aim. Mayor? Councilwoman? I felt I needed to get involved. I felt some of the decisions that were being made were the result of longstanding relationships and backdoor handshakes. I suppose that is what politics is…but I didn’t like it.
Soon after, I realized that between my full-time job and my general lack of patience, I didn’t have the time nor the temperament to give it a serious go. Luckily, there were (and continue to be) other ways that I can get involved as a U.S. citizen, a resident of my county and a neighbor on my block. This is what National Civics Day is about! It is a day where we can learn about all the different ways that we can engage with each other to create and maintain positive changes in our community, and ensure that our democracy remains…well, a democracy. This is more important than ever.
So, how can you observe National Civics Day?
Speak up! Political dissent is as old as our country. All governments need to know how their citizens feel about the issues of the day. It is our responsibility to vocalize our concerns. Attend a town hall or council meeting and get your name on the docket to speak. Contact your local officials and share your opinions on things that need to be done. Still not enough? Organize a protest and make some noise!
Learn! Do you want to know how your local government operates on a day-to-day basis? Consider shadowing a public servant.
Don’t run from jury duty! Enough said.
Community service. In my town, there are the occasional opportunities to sign-up for community service events like cleaning up the local park, playground, or lake. You can also get involved with your local food shelter by donating regularly or offering to work a shift during their busiest times.
Vote! But don’t just vote---do your research on each candidate so you are full informed. You can also help others to register to vote and volunteer to work at your local polling place on election days. If you employ others, make sure you give them time to vote.
Run for office. Yes, this is always an option.
Learn more about becoming more civically minded by exploring some of these books in our catalog!