Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Letter to NEAT Members from Councilman Faulkner

Ms. Greenberg,

I'd like to thank you and the members of NEAT for inviting me to participate in the panel discussion. As a Councilman, I rely on the citizens for input on a wide range of issues I am called upon to vote on and make decisions. Feel free to contact me anytime for your events and especially in the area of Youth development where I have years of experience in programming.

Since we spent a lot of time on Politics, I want to at share my recommendations on opportunities for citizen participation.

* Finding and Contacting political leadership - Email or Snail mail, an elected official is always available for contact. DON'T use it to gripe, but OFFER your ideas for solutions on issues or to Alert them to things that may not be visible to them. THERE ARE public computers available in the Library!
* Write Letters to Newspapers - Every news outlet (including Blogs online) accepts letters to be published by citizens. Some even have Awards for most effective writers. Use this access to constructively highlight issues of concern so others can see and join your cause; maybe even find you're not alone. You can also propose solutions there as well as ask questions.
* Participate in Boards & Commissions - you can join these as members or ATTEND them (their meetings are open to the public). The Public is allowed to speak on a limited basis, but the opportunity is there.
* Join a Political Party - the US uses a Party system, joining a Party (or visiting their monthly meetings) can give you an idea how things work at the grass roots level. You can also gain (informal) access to elected officials.

Just a few ideas to pass along, but to be honest, you have good leadership in NEAT who implore these options and can reinforce them. Thanks again for the honor and I look forward to seeing you all, often!

Grady Faulkner Jr.

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