{Guest Column} Make a difference: participate in local politics

By Paula Davis
Special to the Herald Times
RBC | In a few days a new year will be here, and with the new year will come precinct caucuses, county assemblies and the 2018 round of elections. As any of you must have noticed, registered Republicans far outnumber registered Democrats and unaffiliated voters in Rio Blanco County. I have noticed that those who participate in the election process are far outnumbered by those who don’t.
I know you think about politics and whether the dog wags the tail or the tail wags the dog. I see your posts on Facebook, hear your discussions, in the shops around town and at school events. If you don’t think one person can make a difference then you haven’t seen the articles about a candidate being declared the winner by one vote in a recount after a heated campaign. Then a judge ruled that a ballot that had been declared spoiled was a vote for the Republican so now the vote is tied. The winner will be decided by the names being put in a hat. If just a few more people had voted, there might have been an entirely different outcome, or at least a clear cut one.
In the days before he was a county commissioner, my late husband served several terms on the Rangely RE-4 School Board. I remember one election in particular that he won by seven votes. Everyone starts somewhere.
If you have opinions about what direction our local elected officials could and should lead our communities, then attend the meetings. Many times they are already heading in those directions, and if you agree with them then get it there and help them. If you don’t agree then get in there and try to change things. But, make an informed decision.
Attend “meet the candidate” events, better yet, help organize them. The BLM has had a number of informational events recently, and the chambers of commerce have organized informational events to keep people informed about the Better City programs, for example. We do get some candidates for state and federal offices who swing through our area. These events are usually noticed and advertised in our local paper. Watch for those announcements and attend when you can. Be informed, and if you hear misinformation, calmly correct it.
Get involved. Anyone who says there is nothing to do in Rio Blanco County is not paying attention.

Paula Davis

Paula Davis is the chair of the Rio Blanco County Democratic Party.