Occasionally, citizens have a chance to make a big change in their government. It just so happens that 2019 is one of those times again.
Next week will mark the final week of candidate filings for those looking to win seats on the Amarillo City Council, Amarillo College Board of Regents, and the Amarillo ISD Board of Trustees. If a candidate has plans to be officially listed on the ballot, this will be the time to make it happen, as the respective entities will stop accepting applications at 5PM on Friday, February 15th.
It is agreed on by many that government today is not working in Amarillo. While voting is extremely important, and every Amarilloan should take advantage of their opportunity to vote for the candidates they support, I would also encourage every Amarilloan concerned about the direction of their city to consider making a bid for office.
As someone who has run for office, I know just how scary the prospect of putting your name on the ballot will be for some. You wonder if you can win votes, if you can raise the money, or if you even know the issues well enough to run. However, as you will find when you run for office, these things quickly become the least of your concerns. What you will end up doing is making new friends, finding out about new issues, learning more about the city and yourself, and furthering a dialogue about the issues that affect our communities.
If you have ever looked at an issue and believed you had a unique approach, you should consider running for office. If you disagree with the direction of an issue, you should run office. If you believe there is an issue being ignored, you should run office.
Most importantly, if you care about your city and the direction by which it is moving, you should run for office.
Running for seats at AC and AISD is completely free. Running for mayor or City Council costs $100, or you can turn in 100 signatures from registered voters to mark your spot on the ballot.
However you decide to run, or for whatever office you decide to run for, if you take the leap, you will find running for office to be one of the greatest investments you can make in your community and the discussion surrounding the issues that affect your neighborhood. As an honest public servant, you will not benefit monetarily from your position, but you will have the honor of knowing your voice, and the voices of the people you represent, are being heard loud and clear in the public dialogue.
So, please, consider making a bid for office this year. Amarillo needs good candidates to make a real change. I hope to see your name on the ballot this May.
-Thomas Warren III, Editor-in-Chief