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OP-ED

Silence from the electorate places all of the power in the hands of a few elected officials.  

Election Day 2013 is now behind us, and your vote was cast.  You have done your civic duty by participating in the election process, and I thank you for making that effort.  Hopefully, you were able to acquire enough knowledge about the candidates for consideration.  Now your part is done, and you can just sit back, relax and let your elected officials take care of everything.  Unfortunately, that is exactly what a majority will do, and this results in an ineffective government.  

I encourage you to stay informed of the main topics of discussion at all levels of government.  When something sparks your interest, take the time to gather more information.  If you are still intrigued and passionate, then just maybe it is time for you to act upon that.  Elected officials are put into office to serve the electorate, which means, in order to effectively do so, they need to hear from you with regards to the issues.  There are many avenues available for contacting your elected representatives at all levels.  If you are not answered, hold your representative accountable.

The local county level affords you a more direct link to your representative, and unfortunately that link becomes more disconnected, the higher the level of government.  This occurs partly due to the larger number of constituents being served, but they still find it very important to hear from you.  If you already know that there are certain topics of interest to you, then make that known.  In a respectful manner, share your thoughts, ideas, comments and opinions.  Remember, whether you voted for them or not, they are still your representative and are to serve you.  Take a moment to write that letter, send that email or make that phone call.  Do not perceive yourself as bothering your elected official, because there is no way for your representative to know how better to serve you than by hearing directly from you.  

The elections are over for now.  Take a moment to reach out to your representatives at all levels and use whatever avenues through which they are sharing information, to help you stay informed.

Ruby Brabo

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