Clarksdale mayor Chuck Espy found a creative way to teach kids the political process. When Dr. Mary Frances Dear-Moton brought the Family and Youth Opportunities Division, Inc., summer youth job readiness program to city hall on Thursday, Espy walked the children through the electoral and legislative process with city government.
Espy’s lesson was a reminder of how important it is to be aware of how things work in our communities, but it extended way beyond that. It is just as essential to be involved in the political process.
If you are not involved in the political process, you may be governed by those who are less intelligent than you. If you get involved, you have the opportunity to help shape your community into something you are proud of.
That does not mean you have to run for office. It does mean, if you are not satisfied with those who declared their candidacy for a particular office, you should do your part to encourage someone better to run.
As Espy made clear, involvement in your community extends beyond running for office.
It could mean working for the city in some capacity, volunteering or, as Espy pointed out, running a non-profit organization the way Dear-Moton does.
We must work together to make a community better and every one of us needs to make an effort. That is especially true in Clarksdale since the population is shrinking. We cannot afford to sit on the sideline and expect someone else to make life better for us.
Most of us tend to develop habits when we are young.
Hopefully, Dear-Moton and Espy working together to teach our youth the right way of doing things will help kids make a better tomorrow for the rest of us when they become adults.
Young adults have moved away from Clarksdale more than many of us would like to admit in recent years. The move, in some cases, is necessary.
In other cases, people just need to be reminded they can make a difference and improve the quality of life in Clarksdale while succeeding professionally.
We may not always agree on ideas, but when we all have the same goal to work together and make a difference, there is no reason we can’t reach a solution that benefits most everyone.
Community service is not about, “How can I benefit?”
It’s, “How can we benefit?” and volunteering time for little reward and many headaches.
In the long run, that community service will be worthwhile and lead to those positive solutions for everyone.
Our community needs leaders like Espy and Dear-Moton who instill those values in the youth regularly.