By Jerri Glover
It seems that every year we begin moving the holidays up and pushing them closer together. We see Halloween decorations before Labor Day. Turkeys, gourds and fall leaves come out the week after and before we can eat all the candy leftover from the trick-or-treating festivities, Santas, snowmen, elves, reindeer and trees line the aisles of our stores.
While I don’t fall victim to the pressure to decorate and buy, buy, buy earlier every year, I do find myself looking back on the past months and turning my attention to the coming year.
This year was a challenging year. I saw people, and even fell into the pattern myself, of focusing on the differences between myself and my friends and family. Political rhetoric dominated social media, gathering with friends, and family events—sometimes this resulted in feelings of anger and disappointment as I struggled to get others to see things from my point of view. I am confident they felt the same way.
I had the unique opportunity of working with and supporting candidates that representative my beliefs and, I believe, the best interest of their constituents in their respective districts. It was interesting to see the process from the inside. People who perform this work (candidates, campaign managers, treasurers and volunteers) pour their heart and soul into these campaigns. My personal challenge was to remain balanced and not take derogatory statements and opposing beliefs personally. That is sometimes hard to do when you are sleep deprived, fast food or gas station snacks have been your primary diet and your coffee and adrenaline have combined to create a supernatural rocket fuel. While the elections may not have turned out as I hoped, I am so very THANKFUL for the experience.
This coming year we see the political discussions continue as we focus on our City. Mayor, City Council, School Board and AC Board of Regents all have positions up for election in 2019. Local Elections are so very important. We live here. We operate our businesses here. We raise children here. It would be a mistake to not pay careful attention during the coming months.
Candidates will begin to file their paperwork and declare their intention to run just after the new year. The next months will see them attending forums, knocking doors, meeting voters and hoping that the city turns out to cast votes in their favor. I am excited to see that we have YOUNG candidates already throwing their hats in the ring and beginning their foray into the local political arena. My wish for the New Year is that the voters in Amarillo will pay close attention to the candidates and issues discussed during this local election. More importantly that they will get out and VOTE in May. Historically less than 4% of the population of Amarillo has decided who serves in these important places of leadership. Do you want to let 4% of of the people in Amarillo decide how your tax dollars are spent; how your children are educated; and what economic growth occurs in YOUR City? Yeah—I don’t either.
I wish all of you as Amarillo Pioneer readers a Happy Holiday Season. As you review all you are thankful for, please consider adding the right to vote; candidates who are willing to spend their time and energy to run and represent you; AND all we have to appreciate about the place we live.