A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I went over to Colorado to do some river rafting on the Arkansas River. It was an organized activity associated with his work, so we had some local individuals guide us down two different sections of the river.
It was a much different river experience that I was used to. I have mainly rafted on the Colorado and the Green River. The sections I am used to running travel through some pretty remote areas and you don't often see roads, let alone houses.
The section of the Arkansas we ran literally ran past the backyards of houses and small ranches. As our guides took us down river they talked about the conflicts and solutions to the issues of recreationists and private landowners. They have a way to go on settling things, but are sure making some great progress.
But the thing about the trip I most remember is the attitude of the community. We talked to many different people who lived in Salida and the surrounding area and they raved about their community. We didn't run into one person who complained about their town. We heard about the high cost of housing and some other issues, but people seemed genuinely proud to live there. This came from long time residents to some younger people who chose to stay and live in Salida because they enjoyed it.
How do we present our community to outsiders? At least to each other we don't celebrate our community. I hear complaining and whining about a lot of things. I have to say I have done it myself. We do have problems and issues.
But the question is are we willing to do something about them? When was the last time you called a city council member? Do you even know who they are? And what about the county commissioners?
Of course, it is one thing to complain about an issue. It is another to have the courage to present a solution. How would you handle the problem? What would you do different from what is being done now? Don't be afraid that someone will not like what you have to say, you may just be the one to get the ball moving in the right direction.
The biggest way to make your voice be heard is to vote. We have municipal election coming up soon. If there is one place in this country where your vote does count it is in local elections. If you are not registered, get it done by going to the courthouse. We could make a huge statement to the rest of Utah and the nation if we all voted. Carbon County could wield some great political power just in that accomplishment. Often people we don't like get into power because we are too apathetic to get out and vote.
I have no real expectations that everyone will vote. I just hope some of you do.
And call someone and let them know how things are going.