Get involved; we represent you

  • Friday, March 29, 2019 1:30am
  • Opinion

By Nate Nehring

Our government is based on a representative form in which voters get to select the people they want to make decisions on their behalf. But voting is not the end of civic engagement.

Many decisions, especially at the local level, are influenced by who shows up. We need to hear from those who are impacted by the decisions we make. While much of the media focuses on federal and state decisions that are made, many of those decisions are actually implemented at a local level.

That is to say that the cities and counties are often times the service providers and have a direct connection to the constituents that they serve. This makes civic engagement at the local level that much more important.

It is also easier to connect with local elected officials. You often see us at the grocery store or community events. And our offices are here locally where you can access us more easily than your state legislators or federal congressional representatives.

I believe it is important to encourage civic engagement. So I have made a concerted effort to reach out to and encourage youth participation in the political process. I have had multiple opportunities to speak to groups of students focused on government.

I have judged speaking and debate competitions in our community. And most recently, I was able to host a tour group of middle and high school students at our offices where the County Council passed a resolution commending the civic engagement of these youth and encouraging more civic engagement from people of all ages.

I believe it is important to make sure that our constituents are informed about the actions that their government is taking. That being said, civic engagement is a two-way street. When you show up, you can make a difference. So I encourage constituents to show up to our meetings, reach out to our office, and make their voices heard.

If you are ready to take it a step further, there are opportunities to sit on boards and commissions at the county and city levels. These citizen boards make policy recommendations to staff and elected officials.

Snohomish County’s boards and commissions application can be found at snohomishcountywa.gov/3339/Apply. You can find the city of Marysville’s at marysvillewa.gov/195/Boards-Commissions and Arlington’s at www.arlingtonwa.gov/424/Boards-Commissions.

Nate Nehring is a member of the Snohomish County Council and represents District 1, which includes Arlington and Marysville. His column runs each month.

More in Opinion

We’re all to blame for not cleaning up Puget Sound

It would be easy to blame the Puget Sound Partnership’s failure to… Continue reading

Let’s clean up this town

With the hope of warmer days ahead, many of us start thinking… Continue reading

Hits and misses (Feb. 15)

Hits Those who accept the responsibility and sacrifice and vote for schools.… Continue reading

5 tips to prepare your home to sell this spring

By Todd Fahlman In 20 years there will be almost 80 million… Continue reading

2020 to be even busier for Arlington

By Barb Tolbert As busy as 2019 was for the city of… Continue reading

Success takes sacrifice

Why do you live in Marysville? Because of low taxes? Probably not.… Continue reading

We’re all a little scared of something

By Jenny Smith We live in a world with a playbook that… Continue reading

It’s not as costly to eat healthy as you might think

By Emily Countrman It’s so expensive to eat and live a healthy… Continue reading

Support schools in all 3 communities

Excuses, excuses, excuses Ever wonder why parents send their kids to nearby… Continue reading

Arlington board urges you to vote Feb. 11

By The Board of Directors Arlington Public Schools continues to be recognized… Continue reading

It’s way past time to improve our schools in Marysville

We get it - nobody likes to pay more taxes. But we… Continue reading