(Update: Owing to a personal emergency involving one of the event’s partners, the Civic Saturday event described below was postponed via an announcement made Wednesday, June 12.)
I did not used to vote regularly. I’d try to make it out to the presidential elections and maybe the midterms, but that’s about it. I definitely didn’t know who my city councilperson was, much less my state legislators. I don’t think I realized we elected county officials at all.
My voting habits, however, did not reflect my feelings about my city, my state or my country. Like most people, I cared about the direction in which our society was headed, and over time I began to realize I needed to do something more. I also knew I needed to convince others to join me, which is why I started Let’s Fix This in an effort to make politics palatable to your average citizen.
Unfortunately, some folks feel like merely mentioning the word “politics” is akin to cursing in church. As a result, I like to reframe the topic and call it “civics” — a word you hear so infrequently these days (outside of the NonDoc category) that it carries almost no meaning at all.
Civic engagement isn’t about who you vote for so much as it is that you simply show up to vote. It’s about our collective commitment to participate in democratic rituals like debate, discourse and, yes, elections. But our civic responsibility extends beyond the ballot box to our relationships with one another. It is our concern and compassion for the other members of our society, including those with whom we agree and those with whom we do not.
Civic engagement has the power to completely transform our society, but change must begin inside each of us. We must intentionally shift from an I’ll-do-this-to-get-that transactional mindset to a how-am-I-contributing-to-the-
Civic Saturday is designed to look and feel a bit like a fun church service. There will be music, poetry, readings from important civic texts, and even a “civic sermon” espousing the values of civic life. Civic Saturday is free and open to anyone, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, age, income, citizenship, party affiliation or anything else. The event is presented by Citizen University in partnership with the office of Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt and local nonprofit civic organizations Let’s Fix This and Generation Citizen.
I often quote the phrase, “Decisions are made by those who show up.” The truth is, society is made by those who show up. After all, we are #1OKC. See you at Civic Saturday.