Get Involved with Government: 5 Ways to Get Your Student Invested
- Be informed – Statistics show that approximately 50% of eligible adults don’t vote in many elections. One reason is that it takes work to be informed about the issues and candidates. Take the time to understand how the government works and research some key issues. Visit candidate websites or call them for clarification of their positions.
- Ask if you can interview a local official. This can simply be a survey that you type up. Ask about topics that are important to you. Or, just stop by with a paper typed up with your position on an issue. Either way, you may be surprised at how much is accomplished through a face to face meeting. You can use this information to “be informed” (#1) about the candidate.
- Attend a legislative session in your town, county, or state. This may take some extra time, but it demystifies the working of government. There are real people meeting and talking about issues that affect our lives. This will help students see that they too can become a legislator in the future.
- Attend an event, activity, or protest to raise awareness of an issue. Peacefully protesting is an American tradition and freedom of speech is guaranteed in the First Amendment to the Constitution. Exercising your rights is important in a democratic republic and constructive when done with the right attitude toward others.
- Pick an issue that is important to your family and write a letter to the editor of a news source. This is a traditional, but effective, way to share your ideas with others. It’s free, and most local news organizations will gladly print your well thought out ideas. You can try sending your letter to larger media outlets as well; they might just publish it! You could also write a letter to your state or federal representative. They record this data as a way to gauge public opinion.
Remember that apathy is the enemy of good government. As discouraging as government policies might be to us, we shouldn’t give up involvement. Show your children that you are willing to take the time to vote and be engaged. We don’t want to forsake our privilege of shaping the government. Our political future depends on us!