Speak out

Published 12:00 am Sunday, August 8, 2004

As the city charts out a development plan for all 430 square miles in Suffolk, apparently the call for input fell on deaf ears.

Citizens often bemoan the fact that in some instances, city leaders appear disconnected from residents. In turn, there is a communications lapse as to the expectations of their constituency.

Considering this, it’s troubling that the recent meetings held throughout the city to garner input from residents yielded little or no response, despite public advertising.

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Perhaps, however, the city could have done a better job getting the word out. But certainly the message reached enough citizens who should have cared enough about Suffolk’s plight and more specifically, how their neighborhoods would be impacted.

Unfortunately, we live in a society where it’s become the norm to remain silent during the process, and scream during the aftermath.

The time is now to change.

Apathy is no stranger to the political process whether it’s voting, or having a say at City Hall. Residents tend to only ban together and give input when they are clearly threatened by a proposed initiative. But if we don’t take time to participate in some dialogue on the ground level, it may be too late to make demands before city council later.

Citizens must stand up and be counted about new policies on the horizon that will shape this city’s future. We owe this to ourselves and our children.

If we really want progressive change that will positively impact future generations, becoming involved in local government is not a choice anymore, but a mandate.