By Jamie Glidewell
Are you one of the 80,000 registered voters in Carrollton, Texas? Do you do more than point fingers and complain about our city? Are you the positive difference in our community, or are you part of the problem? I can tell you right now, if you don’t vote, you are on the team of the problem. If you do vote and don’t get involved in your surroundings, you are also part of the problem.
We have local elections upon us and residents already have many things to discuss. Last year during election time, many Carrolltoians took to social media with daily negative criticism. Both Facebook and Nextdoor participants attacked candidate supporters. Daily one could observe grown adults brutally ridiculing candidates and conducting themselves like bullies in jr. high hallways.
This year I hope our city can do something very different. I have faith and truly hope, we can effectively
be a positive difference this year. I want to suggest that we all become involved in our city. Let’s replace voicing unproductive insults to each other with assisting five Carrollton residents in becoming registered voters. If that is not your thing, ask five neighbors, or Carrollton residents to simply vote in our local election.
Posting your opinion on social media does what exactly? If you don’t like that Carrollton is a bedroom community, how does posting on Facebook make any difference? If you don’t like the way our city is run, then help change things. Have you ever attended a city council meeting? Have you ever logged on to the City website to watch the meetings as they happen live? Do you know the name of the council member that represents the area you reside? Do you know the place you live in? Do you live in Place 1,3,5 or 7?
Have you requested a yard sign of a candidate you support? Something as small as displaying a yard sign can make a difference. A yard sign may be the only way some residences know a election is happening.
Do you know your neighbors? Do you know who lives on both sides of you? Do you know who lives behind you? Do you know the people across the street? Do you know why their yard isn’t mowed? Do you know if they are sick? Do you know if they recently experienced a death of their spouse? Knowing your neighbors is another way to get involved with our community.
If you don’t like something in our school system have you ever looked into why there is a problem? Instead of assuming you know what the problem is, have you ever really researched and asked if perhaps there is a solution. Are you involved with our school districts? Are you a member of your students PTA? Do you volunteer at your child’s school at least once a year? Have you taken donuts, tea, coffee, bottled water or simply written a thank you note to any school staff or crossing guard? Have you attended a CFBISD or Lewisville school board meeting?
If you haven’t done any of the things I have asked so far, you are a HUGE part of the problem. I can’t express enough how posting complaints on social media isn’t a way to get involved and change the world around us. People are real and social media takes our approach in communicating to one another down to low levels.
Last year I visited a friend who was at the polls during early voting. I went out to take her snacks and something to drink. While I was visiting the Keller Springs Library location, I met people who were also working the polls. I met former mayors, former city council members, student interns, members of the various candidate’s families and residents who simply wanted to make a difference in our community. Of course, I was also able to meet and talk to the actual candidates in person.
I was amazed with everyone I spoke with at the voting polls. Every person I met was there with one goal in mind, they all wanted to make our future better. The people working the polls in support of their candidates weren’t there for themselves. These supporters were not getting paid, their names weren’t on the many political signs surrounding us. They not only endured the heat, thunderstorms and the cold, (during early voting the temps ranged from the 40s to the 90s). The volunteers had to face people constantly harassing them. If people didn’t show up attempting to humiliate them, the naysayers were on social media lying, threatening and insulting them on a daily basis. Not to my surprise, the main people doing the harassing, are never involved in person. They may have many things to say, but they NEVER do anything about it. It is people like this, is what is wrong in Carrollton.
As Americans we have the luxury of freedom of speech. The speech I hope I see this year is YOUR involvement. If you don’t like the way the police department is run, then join Citizens Patrol. If you don’t like the fire department, join the new Citizens Fire Academy. If you don’t like they way the city council is voting, let them know by directly contacting them. Don’t tag them in a public post, contact them directly.
This year let’s work together as a team. Let’s elect leaders that will vote with our community as a whole in mind. And if our favorite candidate doesn’t win, let’s get involved more.
Let’s commit to creating a beautiful fingerprint on our city that will last generations. Let’s voice our strong opinion with casting a powerful vote in this year’s election.
Leave our children the gift of voting. Let’s give our future the best chance possible, by being more involved in Carrollton.