Daily Life

Pursuit of Civic Engagement, Experiment ONE: Initial Contact

What Jesse Hendon did to prove how involved you're allowed to be in American Politics as an average Joe.

Civic duty is important. It’s an ideal I feel few people strive to. It’s much easier not to. It’s easy to sit back and complain. It’s also easier to get diabetes and heart disease if you live a sedentary lifestyle! We’ve all done it, sat around and complained to our fellow, like minded friends about certain talking points in current or former state politic. What the hell are these guys thinking, doing, talking about, etc.? It’s hard to get up and do and I’ve decided to do just this, get up and do.

I decided, after much thought, that with my skill-set and understanding of human consumer behavior that it was time for me to stop complaining and start doing. In terms of politics, my liberal friends believe I’m too conservative and my conservative friends think I’m a pinko commie! The truth is probably somewhere in the middle. In terms of social issues such as gender equality, the environment, and immigration, my viewpoints could be considered to the left. In terms of the economy, small business and education my views could be considered to the right (whatever that really means).

All of that said, I’ve decided to first reach out to the Democratic party. As of today, from the messaging I’ve seen over the last 20/30 years, they seem to have a closer aligned philosophy to myself. That doesn’t me I’m straight ticket, but in a two party duopoly, I had to choose one side and they are the ones I decided to work with. If this experiment fails and I can’t get what I feel to be proper engagement though the DNC, I will move to the RNC and will maybe have my opinions changed.

I have a few issues that I hold near and dear to me that I feel will affect our country over the next 10, 20 and 50 years. These issues range are Education, Science and Technology, Healthcare, The Environment, Jobs/Economy and Immigration. There are many more issues that need to be tackled, but these are my passion points and something I feel a narrative could be written around for myself and the country at large.

First, what are my views on these issues and how do I feel proper change and implementation could be created? I want to keep this brief and digestible!

Education, we need to start focusing on Meta-Learning. Teaching people how to learn. Education has been utilitarian much too long and as the job markets change, people will need to know how to learn skills rather than be machines. Most of us will be far from where we started in the career path because of these changes and it’s important we learn to learn so we can adapt to these changes.

Science and Technology, we need to embrace and celebrate American innovation. The space race gave us the internet, artificial limbs, water purifiers and memory foam (thank God for the last one)! We need a belief in science and an embrace of science to move us forward.

Healthcare, which isn’t just sickcare, but how can we manage true healthcare! How do we keep people out of hospitals? We implemented PE programs to make sure our kids could be fit to serve, why don’t we do this for adults as well? That said, we still need to fix our medical delivery systems today!

The environment, simply put, we live in it, we need to take care of it! We know pumping our bodies full of toxins is bad, the same goes for the earth!

Jobs/Economy, This filters back to education. No politician is going to “bring our jobs back.” I appreciate the idea, but it’s not going to happen. We need to train people to do the jobs of tomorrow and work with companies to create those jobs here.

Immigration, our neighbors to the north have this one pretty well figured out. If your current population isn’t reproducing enough to keep up with demographic growth needs, you need to recruit from abroad. Some of the world’s top talent already is educated here, let’s keep them here once they finish school! I believe immigrants are some of the hardest workers period, let’s celebrate it, let’s invite and not scare away. Let’s become better together.

With all of the above worked out, I now need to start working with the party to push my ideas, my agenda, my thoughts. So I started today, 7/27/2017 by reaching out to local democratic party leadership by email. The first 2 people I emailed were Miguel Martinez, the local chair for my assembly in Los Angeles and the general mailbox for the Los Angeles County Democratic party.

My goal in this article is to outline the process by which I moved forward with my civic duty / responsibility. This could turn into something cumbersome and demotivating or extremely exciting and empowering. I’ll be taking you on this adventure with me. When I get return emails, you’ll see the emails and my responses. When (if) I get meetings, I’ll let you know. If I have the opportunity to present agenda matters, I’ll let you know that as well! This is a pursuit in civic responsibility, please enjoy the ride!

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