The following entry is written by summer interns Vrinda Varia and Lauren Fisher.
Over 1,300 people attended the Citizens’ Campaign Jersey Call to Service Summit on Wednesday, June 9 in New Brunswick. The event served as a medium for like-minded New Jerseyans from all over the state to join forces in hopes of creating political change.
Among the panels that were offered, we attended “Citizen Control of Political Parties” and “Opportunities to Serve on Government Policy Boards.” People who attended the panels were frustrated and wanted change within their local governments, but did not know how to go about taking action. The Citizens’ Campaign provided useful information that taught people the steps to take toward getting involved. Each of the forums started off with an overview of the topic itself, what laws connect to the topic, and how to participate locally. A discussion between distinguished panelists who work in related fields, and audience members followed the overview.
The most important theme of the night centered around getting involved on a local level. This is a message that Citizens’ Campaign shares with the League of Women Voters of New Jersey (LWVNJ). In order to see change happen within the government, citizens must be involved. LWVNJ takes this initiative very seriously, and encourages its members to learn about and actively participate in government. The steps that Citizens’ Campaign taught its audience members give residents a solid foundation of resources for getting involved. This, in addition to involvement with LWVNJ, can help one participate directly and establish their footing within their government.
This is particularly relevant for young people seeking to launch politically active careers. Organizations like the League of Women Voters of New Jersey provide a springboard for young professionals to learn about their governments, to network, and to gain hands-on experience in working to create change. As we learned from the Chairman of Citizens’ Campaign, Harry Pozycki, a call to service is nothing if it is not answered. Joining the League of Women Voters of New Jersey could be your first step in answering that call.