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Leibforth: I voted, but now what?

Community Voice

Published: Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013 5:43 p.m. CDT

I have a confession: I don’t like politics.

Like me, I bet lots of you take an interest in the dialog of right and wrong and to how we define the pursuit of a better life, but who find the political system by which we’re meant to legislate those interests a bit disappointing and sometimes confusing. 

That said, I do love election days. If you’re a voter – and I hope you are—there’s a smell and feel to the ritual of voting, just as there is for walking your kids to school on the first day of fall term. It’s a feeling in the air that mingles a feeling of honor and privilege with a sense of responsibility. It feels good. 

But what happens after you cast your ballot and proudly don your “I VOTED” sticker? You walk back out into the world and head to work or home. As you walk, the sense of purpose and camaraderie wanes. You get the election results and, victor or loser, you kick back and wait to see what happens. Your job is done.

Nope. Once your legislators have assumed office, the real work begins – for you and for them. Whether or not you like politics, your duty extends throughout the term.

Everything we don’t like about politics dictates that we stay on task with our elected officials. Here’s your chance. On Sept. 23, the West Suburban Chamber of Commerce and Industry (WSCCI) invites you to a Legislative Affairs Breakfast. We’ve also invited our friends from the state who represent the interests of we the people: Residents and business owners in the western suburbs. It’s an opportunity to look your representation in the eyes and ask the big question: “What the heck are you doing?” 

I’ve noticed that, when we ask it, they answer it.  And there’s a cool little side effect: The exhilaration of voting day returns. The sense of purpose resumes. You’re part of the process! I might even give a little sticker that says “I VOTED and then I continued to CARE.”

To attend the event or to receive more information, call or email the West Suburban Chamber of Commerce & Industry at 708-387-7550 or katherinel@wscci.org.

Katherine Leibforth is foundation director of the West Suburban Chamber of Commerce and Industry

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