When I think of ways that people can be active citizens in their political community the easiest action to consider is running for office. I know there are other ways to participate, but that’s the most prominent that I can think of. I was pleased today to see another great example of active citizenship. Pete Ashdown posted a letter to mayoral candidates by Tony Weller. Tony expresses his concerns and asks for feedback from the candidates in order to make an informed choice when he votes for his new mayor. He even invites the candidates to explain why they disagree with him when their position differs from his. For Tony, the key issues are related to local businesses and the vitality of downtown Salt Lake. I think any reasonable person who read the letter would have to concede that it is well thought out and respectful, just like political dialog ought to be.
The results of this kind of effort can be very rewarding. I am interested in the transportation situation currently and as Lehi continues to grow. That interest caused me to contact one of our candidates for city council to ask her for her perspective on that issue. She subsequently arranged to meet with me to discuss the issue. I’ll have to wait until the meeting to know how her position compares to mine, but because I took the time to ask I will not be voting blindly on this issue. That being said, I am starting to think that I might get even more information by querying all the candidates generally, such as Tony Weller did, rather than relying on meeting as many candidates as possible.