Students of the Vail Valley: Continue on your inspiring path of civic engagement (letter)
Dear students of the Vail Valley: Along with many others in our community, I was impressed by the thoughtful way in which you joined others nationwide to make your voices heard about school safety and to remember the most recent victims of gun violence in schools. We are all fortunate to live in a country where freedom of expression is guaranteed by the First Amendment, and bravo to you all for exercising that right and to the schools, teachers and parents who encouraged you to do so.
Your aims were described as wanting to “spur change.” There’s no doubt that your actions are inspiring, but I would also encourage you to be the change that you want to see. When you say #ENOUGH, I think you are saying that what we’ve been doing isn’t working, and many people agree with you. As much as you want to focus on change and not politics, the stark reality is that part of a necessary multi-pronged attack on this problem requires political solutions.
This is an important election year. Every seat in the U.S. House of Representatives and a third of the seats in the U.S. Senate are up for grabs, Colorado will elect a new governor, and our own Vail Valley will have to decide who is going to best represent our interests in the Colorado legislature.
I encourage you to continue on your inspiring path of civic engagement and pay close attention to the candidates. Attend their public meetings. Write them letters, and call them to let them know how you feel and what you want. And vote, if you are eligible, and encourage others to vote for those candidates who understand your fears and concerns and are committed to acting on your behalf.