Election cycles can be exhausting. Our mail is inundated with candidate flyers, every television ad is one opponent or the other, and there isn’t a spare piece of land without a campaign sign.
But we’re here, we’ve reached the end of this election year. There are celebrations for the winners and commiserations for those defeated.
So what happens now.
As we all know, its never really the end.
More and more, it feels like election day is the end of one election while the day after is the beginning of the next.
Campaigns can be divisive but once an election is over our leaders should work to set aside differences and focus on governing. They need to work directing our shared interests and shared goals; to manage our scarce resources for the benefit of us all.
What about our responsibility as voters?
It is easy to become apathetic, to just want all the noise to stop and let us get back to our daily lives. Afterall, we went to the polls, our job is done.
But if we do that then our elections are for naught. Even if our preferred candidate wins, we have a responsibility to stay engaged. They are only truly representing us when they hear from us.
There are 83 days between election day and the first day of the 2015 legislative session.
According to the legislative web site, there are already over 900 bill files open. We’re poised, yet again, to break the record for most bills in a session. Things happen fast during those 45-days.
We need to educate ourselves and stay informed. You made a plan to vote–now make a plan to stay involved.
Start by asking your representative what bills they plan to run this session and why. Find out who benefits from those bills and how they will affect you.
Make sure that your issues are being considered–not just those of special interests who poured money into their campaigns.
We deserve leaders who act to serve their constituents, not those who act for the sole purpose of winning the next election and satisfying lucrative donors.
Let your representative know that you expect them to pay attention to what is in the best interest of their districts and their constituents. And above all, remind them that they are representatives of the people–after all another election is just around the corner.