Have you ever heard someone say "I don't waste my time voting, my vote doesn't even matter"? I know you have because we all have. To some extent, I could understand where they were coming from and I would still encourage them to go to the voting booths on election day. (Even though I had nothing concrete to help them change their mind). Until Today...
How It All Started
I decided to take a chance and get involved. I had no idea where to begin. I had watched an episode of Bannon's War Room where Fog City Midge Became a Public Elected Official. I had been talking on my podcast about how people needed to get involved at the local level. I realized I was doing more talking than doing so I put my shoulder to the wheel and got involved here in Tampa.
At First It Seemed Overwhelming
I watched that video a number of times but still could not figure out where to begin. (If you are having this problem, you are not alone. Just keep reaching out to people and let them know what it is that you want to do. Eventually, someone will point you in the right direction.) I signed up on the website and downloaded the information needed for my area, but then I heard nothing back. I sent an email and still heard nothing back. I'm the type of person where if I hear nothing back over a period of time, I'm going to find a new way to the table, somehow or some way.
I Finally Made Contact With Someone Willing To Help
I had just got done putting together every Federal and State Representative and Senator for all 50 states. I had to figure out which district I was in, so I clicked on the link for State Level "House" in Florida. It took me to a link where I clicked a button labeled "Find Your Representative" (This may be different from state to state.) My State Representative and State Senator were both Democrats and politics aside, they couldn't help me talk with who I needed to talk to in order to get answers. So I google searched the page for all of the Representatives and found one here in Tampa who leaned Conservative. I told them what it was I was looking to do and I asked them for help. Within a few hours, I had a phone call from someone on their staff who put me in contact with the correct person in Tampa who is connected into the Republican Party.
I Went To My First Meeting
I went to my first meeting here in Tampa tonight. It was fun and I met a lot of really good people. It seemed like the majority of the room were former veterans so I really felt at home. (Don't feel that you needed to serve in the military, we all respect those who choose to serve now in their communities.) We also had guest speakers from out of town who I absolutely love listening to on their podcast. JC and KrisAnne Hall, founders of Liberty First University spoke to us about how we got to where we are and how to identify our enemy. "You can't defeat something if you cannot define it". Outside of their talk, we also got to hear about all of the local initiatives going on here locally to defend our Tampa Bay citizens and how people can get involved to help.
My "Take Aways"
I now see that we've got "voting" completely backwards. Our foundation was built in a way that "consent of the governed" is to those closest to you. We get confused and think that the people at the top of the ballot are the only ones we are concerned with. It is important to know who those people are, but the bigger importance is all of those positions below that who you do NOT know. You might know the Sheriff's name, but do you know where they stand? How about the people running for school board? There are people running as committeeman and other positions that we are unaware of. There is also the amendments that are on the bill. I recently learned from John Cardiff Gerhardt, a Nevada Assemblyman Candidate, that it's better to not vote for things you are unaware of than to fill in circles because you know their name". It makes the target number lower if you need to recall that person. Above all, I learned that your vote matters at the local level far more than it does anywhere else. If you get yourself involved at the local level, your power actually influences who even MAKES IT to the top of the ballot.
We think we are doing our part when we show up on election day every 4 years. (Credit to those who show up at the midterms as well). Your voice matters far more than you realize. The process may seem a big crazy and it may seem like you are spinning your wheels. The system doesn't want you to get involved. Keep pushing through and you will find like-minded people who very much want you around. If you want to effect change at the major levels, help to control the process at the lower levels. It will pay major dividends down the road.
Have you ever been to a local meeting? If you have, what was your experience like? If you have not, I encourage you to start with the Fog City Midge video, then leave a question in the comments below when you get stuck. I would love to help you break that barrior. Your voice needs to be heard.