Power to the People: Ongoing responsibilities of Civic Engagement

Happening in Portland right now: “Massive Anti-Trump Rally.” Happy for the civic awakening, just wish it could have been more pre-election support and momentum for Bernie vs. post-election frustration and protesting. Can this outflow of energy be also turned into post-election citizens organizing for climate justice, energy transitions, and green jobs across the community? What we need is a more democratically engaged public year-round. There are plenty of issues in the community from houselessness, to gentrification, untethered urban growth, to climate conscious transitions that all require a similar outpouring of zeal and collective action.
‘Demos’ = the people
‘kratos’ = the power
The root of Democracy is the power of the people. In order for people to have that power there needs to be an ongoing commitment to being an active and engaged citizen. We vote everyday with our actions, our lifestyles, and what we choose to discuss and what we remain silent on.  From educating and being active with civic issues at a neighborhood level, to advocating for changes in policy at a city, state or national level, all voices are valuable and needed for a true public voice in our government systems. Excuses of being ‘too busy’ to care are no longer an option if we want to enact real change.
We need an active awareness that starts with seeing things where we are. The America on November 8th was no different from America on November 9th, but for a shift in consciousness. The issues have been there for years and decades, and centuries if you really want to get to the root of it. Is our generation poised to start upturning these patterns of human and natural exploitation and degradation that have gone on far too long? Are we ready for the change we can potentially create, or do we like and default to ‘normal’ patterns and routines? Let’s hope this zeal doesn’t fizzle out and people go back to the normal ho-hum work commute routines within a week. The whole world is at stake.
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