Government officials and city workers are always highlighting the importance of political activity and staying involved in your community. They claim that every voice is heard and that they are working in the benefit of the people and the city. However, when there are no voices to be heard, who should the government listen to?
The fact of the matter is that the citizens of Malden are anything but involved in their community; this could be for a number of reasons, ranging from language barriers, to busy schedules, to lack of knowledge on the occurrences in the city.
As a reporter in Malden High’s Blue and Gold newspaper, I have been more frequently attending City Council, Malden High’s School Council, and the School Committee’s meetings-- or at least attempting to. It is difficult finding out about the meetings, as you have to venture through the city of Malden’s website to find the dates and locations of meetings, so to those with less reason to attend these meetings, it is often not worth the trouble.
Every City Council meeting I have attended so far has had no more than 10 citizens in attendance, and the School Committee meetings consisted of all teachers and one or two parents; on some days, both meetings will take place within close times, or at the same time, on the same day.
The issue at hand is much bigger than simply feeling like a community. The majority of Malden residents have no idea what is happening within their local government, and what decisions are being made at the meetings they are missing.
For example, at the City Council meeting on Tuesday, November 1, the Council discussed the City Hall renovations as well as the construction and reparation of streets around the city, as well as the financial information needed to make these decisions. Chances are, most Malden residents had no idea these decisions are being made.
It is extremely important to participate in the government and in politics, whether it is nationwide or local. Not being a part in the decisions around your city takes away from your freedom; as Americans, we are entitled to vote and be active in our government-- the wonderful thing about democracy.
However, democracy means nothing if nobody other than government officials are willing to participate in it.