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  • Matt Breton

Powerful Engagement

Politics... a word most of us avoid in our day-to-day life. Yet that day-to-day life is shaped by politics- the machinations of government- taxes, regulations, bridges, even hunting seasons.

Take it a step further and you have politicians- the people who practice politics- also something most of us avoid. Yet these are the people who set the course, who prioritize. I believe most are doing what they believe is the right thing. Yet the divide has grown. I suspect it is because we've gotten a lot of the big stuff mostly figured out (even if it isn't pretty) so now we're left with small details to wrangle over.

A step to the side of this is policy, the actual rules that get written. These are the nitty gritty details that need to get worked out. As I've gotten more involved in non-profit work, I've had the opportunity to submit comments to government officials, the unelected workers behind the scenes, to help shape that policy. In doing so, I've had occasion to attend a few meetings. Yesterday I went to one to talk about some regulations that are being reviewed after 50 years on the books. I spoke up only once, to mention that there is some value to remote places staying wild.

A map showing places further than 1/2 mile from a road in any direction in green.

I'm generally impressed at these meetings. The thoughtfulness of all the people involved gives me hope- people care about the work they are doing and want it to be right. These are people of all stripes- citizens, lobbyists, government workers, and appointees. I think the the weight of some of their decisions is known to them, so they are rightfully cautious and calculating.

With national politics particularly divisive right now, it is refreshing to get into the weeds and realize that, at the level where work gets done, there are people being thoughtful- who can be nuanced in their approach. The room yesterday was full of people who disagreed about a few things, but agreed about more and realized that. Our system, set up more than 200 years ago, is a pretty good one. We just have to choose to use the power the founding fathers gave us as citizens, the power so important that it has been fought for and then defended by soldiers willing to risk their lives for it.

Please jump into the fray and be powerful- go vote!

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