For years, first as a journalist and then as Clerk of the Whatcom County Council, I had to be as neutral in my opinions as possible, in fairness to those I served. As a reporter for The Bellingham Herald, I did not even vote in local elections. It would have been too tempting to carry my voting preferences into my workaday life. (However, I did vote regularly in elections from my "home county," Kitsap.)
One of my first actions upon being appointed Clerk of the Whatcom County Council was to switch my voter registration to Whatcom County. I voted with a clear conscience in local elections, but still had to be silent about my political inclinations (at the time, liberal & Democrat). They trusted my advice would not be tainted by political activism. I owed loyalty to every Council Member, and grew fond of every one of them. Together we cultivated a culture of openness and transparency that benefited the public as well.
Even after I left that job to focus on my children, I didn't speak out much. I worried that I would hurt feelings, or offend people that I cared about. Gradually my political views shifted. I consider myself to be a conservative, with the Republican Party most closely representing my values.
And now, I can't stay silent anymore. Perhaps I've been silent too long.
Our State and Nation are on a bad road, influenced less by common sense and more by emotionalism. Voters are manipulated by groups that shout "freedom" while clamping down on opposing views. Too many are swayed by the Cult of Cool, rather than by logic and facts, when they decide who they should support.
I want to do my part to turn things around. This blog is my bold step, carrying my opinions into the public realm. Issues I'm passionate about:
- being an informed and active voter;
- raising the next generation to be informed and active voters;
- citizen involvement in local government;
- open meetings and open public records laws;
- the integrity of our voting system; and
- the need to make changes in our government's direction.
Check back often. Participate in the discussions. It's time to move out of the shadows, before the shadows overtake us.