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  • Writer's pictureThe Host

Packed Streets, Empty Seats

The definition of the word "dedication" is: 'the quality of being dedicated or committed to a task or purpose'. In common parlance; you have to stick with it. It's not always the easiest to do but therein lies the conundrum of "dedication". The desire for end result becomes the motivating factor. That desire is what makes the proverbial "rocky road" able to be traveled at all costs and not matter what the obstacles. This is also the essence of the phrase "no justice no peace".

That phrase perhaps more than any other, symbolizes the essence of determination and dedication. Put simply: 'if the people have no justice, those who are responsible for their oppression shall receive no peace'. Simple. Easy to understand. What's not easy to understand is how one can use these words and not follow through on them. This is especially poignant in regards to civilian participation and also voting. Nowadays there's a phrase that perfectly sums this up: "keep that same energy".

The same energy and passion that it takes to gather, organize & march needs to continue at the voting booth. It needs to continue and be felt at City Hall's around our country. And it most certainly needs to be felt in review & recommendation sessions, offered by respective city governments, which are open to the public. This writer is reminded of a time when I had the chance to be part of a Utility Bill Reduction session. At that time citizens could bring household bills to a local library and industry specialists would sit and inform them of the money they would NOT have to pay each month. Bills could be reduced by a third, perhaps even half. But it was free and there was coffee and donuts. All people had to do was show up.

In an hour and a half time span 4 people showed up. Yet, comment sections and message boards are always full with assertions and vitriol. The most famous of them all, "what are they doing for the people?" It is a fact that government routinely fails people of color. It's a well known and established fact in American society, life and history. But if people are not ready, willing & able to take part in every aspect of society open to them, nothing will change. EVER. This includes quiet, boring, unexciting and morose city hall sessions that do not have coffee and donuts. You have to keep that same energy.

A wise person once said: 'all the protesting in the world means nothing without legislation'. Strangely enough, the person who said that is someone who makes legislation. After all the bullhorns have silenced, what comes next? Granola bars, bottles of water and 3.8 mile marches with banners; now what? Make no mistake, every empty seat in an open to the public council meeting is another shovelful of dirt tossed onto the coffin of real change. Every person of color (especially) who doesn't follow up protest with civic engagement is steering the car of change away from the garage of true reform. It's just that simple.

Whatever brought you out to demand change; keep that same energy in the places where power is held & change can actually happen.

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