Column: Like a Sports Fan – We Need Voter Fans
Sports fans are a special group of people who are very passionate, committed and sometimes really crazy. They may be a fan of the sport, the school, the tradition, special players or just the T-shirt sports fans. They anxiously look forward to the next game, plan gatherings with friends, travel in small and large groups, and look forward to the post season with anticipation of the big win. For those who know me I am a real true college sports fan for K-State – and celebrate the game when we win and am still a fan when we lose within that sports season – and yes, I wear the colors most days.
Even people who day in and day out pay no attention to any sports can become a group sports fan when a team is on a winning roll – the best example recently of that is the way the entire metro area got behind and supported the Royals on their World Series race! Now with all that said, as an individual sports fan you may feel you made a difference in the outcome of a single game but really it is the players, coaches and their talent that made the difference.
Political fans might share some similar feelings like a sports fan – some are passionate, some committed and sometimes are really crazy. If you are really a political junkie you look forward to the next election. You may gather in larger groups with like-minded people and support groups. As such you will celebrate your wins and look to the next big election when you lose.
But remember, local politics and elections do have a different meaning and do more closely affect your daily lives. Your local government leadership decides your level of public safety, your streets and roads, nearby parks and trails, nearby stores and even a Shawnee business you may have the opportunity to work and be close to home. The governing body of the City of Shawnee, like other cities, council members and the mayor have the authority to determine the quality of life of the community, business growth and development and the safety of you and your family.
But there is a big difference compared to a sports fan – your individual participation can and will count in who is elected and who makes those decisions for your community. In the 2012 local primary election only 3,425 (or 8.5%) of the then 40,200 registered voters participated in the election.
Here’s something to think about. On March 3, how many of the 42,000 registered voters of Shawnee will decide which two of the four Mayoral candidates will move to the general election on April 7? We are the only City in Johnson County with a Mayor’s race. Jeff Meyers is retiring after serving as Mayor for 11 years. Thank you Mayor Meyers for your vision and support for the economic development efforts for the City of Shawnee for over 20 years!
Please be a voter fan—vote and make a difference for today and for the future growth of the community, for your family, the kids and all the important qualities of life everyone enjoys in Shawnee.