District 2 Newsletter
Recently I came across an article with the headline Cities Have Become the Gatekeepers of Democracy. Citing studies globally as well as recent Gallup Polls, the Trust in Government has been sinking for the last 13 years and in the United States has dropped to an all time low of 38%. While this figure is alarming these same studies have shown that the trust in local government has remained high, 70%, since the 1970s.
Why do people find cities more trustworthy than other government entities? Part of it is proximity. People can see and feel how democracy works for them. But it is also attributable to cities’ efforts to address Quality of Life issues head on, that left unattended, can become major stressors to democratic institutions.
Also cities don’t usually get tied up in partisan gridlock that is corrosive to democratic governance. City leaders seem to be able to set political differences aside and work together for the common good of the community. City leaders have shown repeatedly that partisanship takes a back seat to finding workable solutions that are in the best interest of the people.
But cities are not just serving as democracy’s staunchest defenders, they are also championing democratic principles like civic engagement and involving all people in solutions and getting results on everyday problems.
Most importantly, city leaders recognize that their power comes from the people and, as such, their fundamental role is to act in their best interest. This is how democracy should work, and in many people’s minds, sharply contrasts with what they perceive at other levels of government.
In reading this I couldn’t help but think of my past years on Council and my experience has reinforced my belief in these democratic principles. At times it can be cumbersome but keeping in mind the concepts of transparency and inclusiveness as guiding fundamentals, Galveston can continue to represent the best Democracy has to offer.
Wishing You A Carefree February Full Of Input And Choices.