If everyone who cares about what happens to their neighborhood, county, and state and joined their local civic association (here's a list, but I'm still working to improve it), then if each one of those joined the county civic federation to give input on how we can improve the county and helped advocate for better laws and support, we could have a county to be proud of and want to live here for the rest of our lives. We can stop the gang violence, we can see that businesses that we want will move into the county, we can improve the roads and traffic, and reduce the pollution. Our legislators won't care if we don't care.
Usually this is a time commitment of a 2-hr. meeting once per month for your local organization with an occasional service project, like Adopt-a-Road and if you agree to be the liaison to the civic federation, it's one more meeting per month. If you can't attend a meeting due to health, family situations, etc., that is understood - we all have them sometimes. And the civic federation (as do many local organizations) take off for the summer and/or have a special fun event to get to know your neighbors better and have a good time together.
This is the way a good citizen gets involved. Individual members are also welcome at the civic federation. Our next meeting is next Thurs., Feb. 7 at 7:30 PM. We meet at Kettering Middle School 65 Herrington Drive, Upper Marlboro. You can attend a meeting for free, but if you want to vote, you need to become a member, but the fee is only $15 for individuals and $25 for organizations (with 3 votes for each organization). Membership forms are on the web site.
If you're shy, it's OK, we don't bite. I'm an introvert, but I believe it's important to have a say in what happens in my life and the life of my family, and our government has a lot to do with that (taxes, roads, schools, parks, jobs, etc.). You can pass when we have an open sharing about our neighborhoods if you'd like, but you could learn a lot about how regular citizens can really make a difference, as has been reported in the news and I "seed" on this neat news-gathering tool - this is just the community-service tag - there are many other stories.