Publisher’s column: No better time to get involved than the present
The time is now.
The time is now to get involved in our country, our state and our county. I am astonished at the amount of disconnect our elected officials demonstrate on a regular basis as to what I hear on Main Street from readers and from businesses. While I hear from the occasional person who is on the extreme left or the extreme right most of the people that I visit with are somewhere in the middle.
Our elected officials need to pay attention to this. While she lost her home county in her run for United States Representative, she did win an overwhelmingly high majority of Congressional District 3 – Rep. Lauren Boebert needs to understand that her way isn’t the right way – it is one of many ways. She or anyone in her role will only succeed by listening to both sides and working together for a solution that serves most people — not just one set of people.
It is important to remind Sen. John Hickenlooper that we elected him in part because of what kind of Governor he was for our state. He brought people together, acted contrary to his party many times – and yet somehow in the end of his most recent run for office he has become one of the most partisan electors that I’ve ever witnessed. So far, in his first days in office he has continued that concerning trend.
Gov. Jared Polis seems to forget that we in Garfield County are not just red or blue — we are parents, siblings, children, nieces and nephews. Although the majority of the population elected him to his office — the largest geographic portions — the areas left and right of Interstate 25 are not in line with the large population on the Front Range. Frankly, that shouldn’t be the point. Regardless of if someone voted for him or not every single one of us are important. In Polis’ state of the state address, he said he wants 100% renewable energy by 2040 – yet he didn’t even mention the people who will be negatively impacted by this change. Nor did he mention how we are going to pay for services such as public schools when that energy-related funding goes away.
Other elected officials such as Sen. Bob Rankin and Rep. Perry Will should not have to struggle to be heard — Polis and others should in fact seek them out for advice and feedback. Our two-party system of balanced government has swung considerably blue in Colorado over recent years, but the people are oftentimes best served by opposing parties working toward consensus. Politicians who focus on pleasing their fringe will likely so most of their work whither away when the opposing party once again assumes power. Policy driven by consensus, however, is more likely to withstand the political winds of the day.
Let’s step one step closer: our county commissioners were victorious in their re-election efforts, but were only points away from losing. It serves no good purpose to only take action on their side of thinking yet it seems at times that is exactly what they are doing.
My children, your children deserve better. The only way I can see to correct the trajectory that our elected officials are leading us on is to get involved, get active in your local government and ensure that we — you, I and everyone else — are heard. Belly up to that table to be part of the solution and not part of the problem. The time is now – your grandchildren are counting on you.
Bryce Jacobson is publisher of the Glenwood Springs Post Independent, Rifle Citizen Telegram and Craig Press. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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