Ditch The Politics and Get Local

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Fake news, snowflakes, deplorables and now Space Force?  Really?

Whether you’re Democrat, Republican or somewhere in between, you’re probably sick of the joke of a national political conversation at the moment.  I try to keep this outlet relatively neutral, but in this case, I think we’re pretty tired of the blustering by… well… everyone in the U.S. political scene.  I’m not making light of the most important conversations surrounding human rights, equality and our justice system, but so much of these debates are made nebulous by the suffocating blanket of senseless banter between our leaders.  We must engage our deepest issues, but the truth is that most of those issues can have a local focus as well.

Now more than ever, we take to social media to vent our frustrations, only to become more frustrated by the backlash from those friends or outsiders we have “from the other side” who troll our feeds looking for something they don’t agree with.  We all do it right?

I know you’ve heard it but frankly I don’t think we are saying it loud enough… Now is the time to get involved locally.  If you want to make a difference, I implore you to seek out a cause in your community that you feel strongly about, and dedicate time or resources to those efforts.  Put your frustrated energy into your city, your community, your neighborhood… produce something that might make a little difference, or assist someone with the civic endeavor.  Now is the time to Get Local.

When we work side by side with our friends and neighbors for a common cause, we are much more likely to put our differences aside and see eye to eye in order to complete a task or move a project forward.  Better yet, we might learn something from each other, which always makes me feel better!

Something I love about New Urbanism is the fact that it blends many conflicting political viewpoints to form a forward-moving effort that knows no party.  Financial solvency and long-term sustainability, small business growth and a “slower,” family-oriented lifestyle in our communities are often concepts associated with conservative views, while vehicles of equity, centralized living, public transit emphasis and an appreciation for diversity are often associated with liberal values.  These are just a few of the intersecting, or rather, interlocking pieces that form the basis of healthy urban growth today.

The reason our pro-local movements have become so strong is in large part a reaction to the ridiculous and pointless national conversation.  As a result, people are showing a renewed interest in creating unique cities, communities and spaces we choose to inhabit on a local level instead of a national one.  In a world of Twitter bluster that we cannot control or direct, moving away from the keyboard and focusing on the communities in front of us (without being exclusive our shortsighted of course!) not only gives us a feeling that we can do something to help, it also makes our communities better places to live.

Every big problem is solved by starting at the smallest level.  Every pointless political volley can be quieted by real world progress.  Every corrupt, irresponsible national politician can be countered with a collection of local people who are truly committed to making their corner of the country a better place for everyone to live.  If you haven’t already, back away from the “reply” button on your friend’s Facebook feed and find a local cause that speaks to you and your passion.  Let’s Get Local.