Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Small Town Politics

This is what I'm Pondering today...

The Short Story
After attending three City Council Meeting (in the past three weeks) the Chief of Police approached me about participating in some Police Meetings on Implementing a new law in the city. I don't know if I should.

The Long Story
Two weeks ago Frank and I went to a City Council meeting, just to see what there was to see.

Turns out, there was a fury of debate going on about a proposed Daytime Curfew Ordinance. There were a lot of Homeschooling families there opposing it because they feel it infringes on Civil Liberties and also, it has the potential to inconvenience them and their children. After trying (unsuccessfully) to find the local Homeschooling group (through people and internet searches), I met them for the first time at a City Council Meeting - kinda funny, I think.

In any case, last night, the Ordinance passed the City Council (by a 7-1 vote). After wards, the Police Chief ask me if someone from the Homeschooling group would like to participate in the meetings within the Police Department, as they determine how to implement this new law. I was excited, saying I didn't know, but I thought that, yes, the Homeschoolers would want to be involved. I gave him my contact information. Boy. Was I wrong! I thought the Homeschoolers would lynch me for suggesting it! They were in-your-face-mad because "the Police Chief doesn't care what we think!"

Now. I must admit that I am VERY new to politics, but I want to believe the best of people. Passing the law may not have been what I or the Homeschoolers wanted, but it's a law now. So, wouldn't it be helpful to be involved as the proceed with implementing it?

Tom wants me to "stay out of it", fearing reprecussions against me or our property and potential ostrecizing from the local Homeschooling group. I think that being a part of the solution is good, but I also remember more that one occassion when my Mom was run off the road after taking firm stands at City Council Meetings (in Victorville, California, then population about 15,000). So, I know that there may be truth in what Tom says.

As I mentioned before, for the first time - - I can see how I could be involved, for good, in Civic things.

It's just so bewildering to me. Particiapte with the Police and risk being Ostricized. Don't participate, and wonder what I might have been able to do to help. Also, there's just a raw curiosity in me to know how things like this (the City and Police Meetings) work.

Ever since moving to Wyoming, I do move more cautiously, because this is "a small town" and things work "differently" here than in a big city. Everyone knows everyone. So, I try to be less bold and definat and more patient and understanding.

Right now though, I'm just not sure which way to go with this. I mean, if the Homeschoolers did get upset with me, and not allow us to participate, then we probably don't want to associate with them anyway.

I do know that the Homeschoolers are talking with the Home Schoolers Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) about pursuing this Ordinance in a Court of Law. So, they are working on correcting the problem themselves, but, in the meantime, this is a Law in our town now, and being involved in how it is implemented seems better than just fighting it.

Thanks for listening to me ramble. I just don't know what I should do (participate, fight, sit-down-and-shut-up). You're input and insights would be appreciated!


Heather said...

I think you are correct. Now that it was voted in, wouldn't they want a voice in making the actual law happen? That way the homeschoolers have a voice in it. But if you sit back, to me, then you can't complain when there is something about the law that you don't like.

I am also with you that, would you really want to associate with those type of people anyway if they act that way? You can still home school with out them, right? Isn't that part of home schooling, so you don't have all of those issues to deal with, no drama, you can control what you want to and not deal with the administration at the schools? So what is the difference if you have to deal with the crap of the homeschool association? I just hate when people have to act this way...

I am glad to hear your ramblings...I agree totally with you. And I think it is great that you are trying to be involved and I think it is great that the police asked for someone in the association to be involved. They can' t complain, they were asked to be involved in it. They need to be the bigger person and say, "yeh, we want someone there, what time, day, etc...we will be there strong!"

Bradford family blog said...

What exactly does this new law state??

Anonymous said...

Now that it is voted in you have to deal with it. You will have a wealth of information and will buid a good relationship with the police.

Even though I stood firm and got ran of roads I am still here. I to had to accept things I did not want but found ways to make it better by getting involved.

Get involved and make YOUR peace with what is going on. You are not representing the group but yourself so go to the meetings.


Cricket said...

Be a part of the solution and not a part of the problem. The law was passed by an overwhelming majority so odds are against it changing anytime soon. Voice your opinion if you feel like you want/need to.

Be aware also that if the group tosses you or does not allow you to become/remain a member then you cannot represent them at the meetings. You would just be representing a single homeschooler and that is fine but make sure that is understood so you don't get caught up in some sort of extra turmoil with the ACLU and the others.

Good luck and keep us posted!

Celise said...

Out of all that, I just now realized...are you homeschooling the boys? Were you doing that when you lived here?