After attending the Alderman meetings in Manchester, I have noticed that the amount of citizen participation is scarce. It appears that only the same select citizens show up to keep track of this city’s welfare, and in alarmingly low numbers. In recognition of this, I was forced to pause and think upon what could be causing this lack of participation. I grew up in Manchester in my early childhood and loved the close community and safety that came with the city. Even though I moved to other areas as I grew up, I never lost the fondness for our city, nor the friendships I established in Manchester. After getting married, my wife and I moved back to Manchester and as life took off, I became so busy that I looked to myself and my family individually. I realized I had lost the vision
of a community built upon a foundational ability and desire to help each
other. I took this opportunity to dive into how I could get plugged into my local community and bring back that city from my youth. I read the Manchester Courier, researched news on The Patch, and went to as many events as the city had to offer, including Alderman Meetings. As life is taking its course and things are getting busier, we tend to discover we have less time to get involved. What have we done to combat this as a people? Digital media has been the growing answer, and this was the missing link in my search. Upon coming to grips with the simple fact that our citizens are busier than ever, an idea as simple as this reality
struck me: what if there was someone who could summarize these government meetings for the people? What if there was a way to keep our citizens aware of the city movements without having to read a large file of meeting minutes? Could it be possible to poll citizens via an online blog such as The Patch, getting these
residents to send in their thoughts without taking out time from their busy
schedules? I lived in Manchester for years before I found out more about the local government. How many more people are out there who just don’t have the time to participate, despite wishing they could? I will tell you that less than 15% of the
Manchester citizens actually voted on the local positions. We are missing out on almost 85% of the public voice. I do not believe it is the intention of most people to allow change to happen without knowing how it affects them. I have polled sections of Ward III and found that very few of our neighbors even know WHEN the election is, let alone how they can participate.
The whole world is changing to online papers, online shopping, and online
communication. Why is this? Our lives are moving at a faster pace than ever. I
believe that an online blog about the goings on of the city would help us hear
from more people.
With the upcoming election in April, I would encourage everyone in Manchester to take 15 minutes out of their day to get involved, see what your city has to
offer, and help make this the start of a great new season in our community. I would love to hear feedback from the readers
on what they think about this idea and can be reached at email@example.com.
The fast pace of modern life should not come at the expense of your ability to have a say in our community. We are all busy, but I believe that we can
still communicate and grow together, and reclaim the heart of the community
that is Manchester.
To better serve the people and seek out relationships-