The elections are over (at last). Our candidates, or initiatives, or whatever, either lost or won. Either way, be assured we will be complaining soon:
"Representative Smith (or Jones) is not doing what she/he promised". "I would never have voted for that Initiative if they had explained it better".
You made your choices (or by not voting, let others make your choices), and now you must live with them. Maybe you throw up your hands in despair. Maybe you feel you have done your civic duty and the rest is up to "them".
PLEASE – DO NOT DO THAT.
First, who is "them"? THEM, in our country, includes all of us.
Elections are just the beginning of another round of the process; the process of moving our government along through time, evolving our laws and institutions to meet, or get in front of, our ever-changing demographics, trade, economy, new businesses, health practices. There is nothing complicated about the need for the process. The process itself, though, can seem daunting. It is not.
Our elected government representatives are there, under the dome, to represent what they perceive to be what we need and want. To do what is best for us. Do you imagine they know everything they need to know? And how do they fill in the gaps in their knowledge?
Colorado Senior Lobby works in large part to help fill those gaps. And much of our knowledge comes from everyday people (like us). You too can be a part of Senior Lobby: you can volunteer with us, support us financially with your membership, be included in the conversations. As a citizen, it is important to share what you are seeing, hearing, and feeling with our elected officials at every level, and to do so in a thoughtful, constructive manner. CSL will help you do that.
When you as a citizen know or learn of issues in your community that need attention, what comes next? If you want to be a part of the solution, first become informed on the different points of view impacting those issues. Then form an opinion and communicate it. CSL will help you do that.
“Fake-news”, no matter who is generating it, is just another piece of information to be sifted through to get to the facts to form your opinion. The Colorado Senior Lobby website has more tips about contacting legislators and is available to help you find who you should contact about an idea or issue. Our volunteers at the Colorado Senior Lobby may know facts about areas of concern to you; it may well be that you are the first to bring it to our attention. Our Legislative Committee meetings can be a great place to air out ideas and concerns –
Are you unsure who your legislators are?
The Colorado Senior Lobby website has a link on our home page to the “Find My Legislator” webpage on the Colorado General Assembly website. Each of us should know who is representing us both in the Colorado House of Representatives and the Colorado Senate. Write this information down and keep it handy – better yet memorize it. Now when you are reading or watching news, listen for your legislators’ names and follow what they are talking about. Sign up for your legislators’ newsletter and town halls. With this approach, when an issue comes up you will be ready to contact your legislators.
We also recommend you become a member of Colorado Senior Lobby. Membership provides benefits and support and shows that you see our work as important. We are watching out for the interests of older Coloradans as best we can; we welcome more boots on the ground, helping. We want every older person in Colorado to be an informed, confident citizen, unafraid to talk about issues with anyone (including your elected officials).
And here is a reminder to join us for Senior Day at the Capitol 2019 on March 13th. More about that later, but in the meantime, put it on your calendar and please make a plan to attend –