Our Civic Responsibility and Duty – Working with Elected Officials

In our meeting with Representative Pat Sullivan of the 47th Legislative District at the State Capitol in Olympia, WA. he encouraged us to pay attention to our elected leaders and hold them accountable to our values and community needs.

It is a common fallacy that because an individual is in a position of power, their actions and beliefs are justifiable. Many of us assume that because one is an individual of political power, they must be wiser than the general public. This is a misconception, which is becoming more and more evident to the people as time (and presidential elections) go by. We all have something to learn from one another. World history, literature, and philosophy teach us to question power, and the effects that come from succumbing to corrupt leaders. The philosopher Heraclitus challenges us that the wisest of the wise can nevertheless be foolish, only relatively wise to themselves.

Rep. Sullivan challenged us to hold our elected officials accountable, through participating in city council meetings, school board meetings, and speaking with local electeds about issues in our communities. The community can hold elected officials accountable to the people’s interest through legislative work, organizing the community, writing policy papers, and street heat. We are responsible for our futures. We cannot wait for others to make the changes we want to see in the world; it is up to us to become the leaders we were born to be and rise together.