Your vote needed to help paint community's future

Posted: Sunday, October 05, 2003

The League of Women Voters wants to remind you that the election on Tuesday is not only a right, but also a responsibility as an American citizen. This upcoming election is especially personal. It's about the direction and quality of life we want for our local community.

A democratic society could be loosely (very loosely) compared to a work of art by a committee. Imagine a group expected to paint a picture that is never to be finished. There is a constant difference of opinion not just about the process, but also on how the end product should look. Some of the members refuse to participate and leave it to the few. Perhaps the few are then motivated by self-interest. On the other hand, perhaps they come to realize that the more thought and discussion going into the work, the more balanced and beautiful the emerging form.

Our votes contribute to the composition of the committee whose efforts will be continually open to interpretation. The unemployed, financially strapped or uninsured may see the canvas as a hopeless muddle. A student might see it as vibrant and inspiring. Others could see possibilities for creating an even better design. Unfortunately, some may perceive it as merely a vehicle for attaining power.

Years ago, a friend of mine described the incredible color she encountered when entering the United States after leaving Hungary. She portrayed her travels there as slogging though a heavy, gray landscape painting with little opportunity for change.

Our society is dynamic. Politicians want to be re-elected. We have the means by which to make them accountable. We can vote! Read the Kenai Peninsula Borough Voter Information booklet, call candidates, e-mail incumbents, attend forums, read the relevant Clarion articles. Support the candidates and incumbents whom you believe are looking after the welfare of our community. Find out as much as you can about the issues encompassing the 3 propositions.

The painting will be a work in progress by those willing to vote for the "artists." If Tuesday doesn't look like a good day for voting, stop in ahead of time at the Borough Building and ask for an absentee ballot. They are ready for you weekdays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. and today from noon to 4 p.m. Be a good role model for your children; exercise your right; take responsibility for your part of the community picture. Vote!

P.S. Keep in mind, the above analogy is by someone whose artistic talent consists of drawing stick figures with crayons. I'm certain the League accepts no responsibility for it!

Marge Hays is president of the Central Peninsula League of Women Voters.

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