Borough native and U.S. President Donald Trump famously campaigned as the proverbial political outsider – the agent that, upon taking office, would disinfect the democracy that career politicians had corroded for decades.
“It is time to drain the swamp in Washington, D.C.,” the former Jamaica Estates resident said last October, adding that he would bring ethics reform to the capital, and “make our government honest again.”
Whatever you may think of the man, his politics, his general grasp of checks and balances, his hair, anyone who has the gumption to stand up, be counted, and make the effort to change a staggeringly flawed system should be applauded.
That’s why we have been heartened to hear that several borough civic leaders – political outsiders – have recently announced their runs for public office. That is in no way meant to be construed as any sort of endorsement – we have a few months to go before we establish those. However, you can say that we endorse the energy, the desire to effect change from inside the belly of the beast.
So why not you?
The time has come for those who have been commenting and complaining from the sideline to do something about that which has confounded, frustrated, and angered them for so long. You don’t have to run for office, you don’t have to raise funds for someone else, you don’t have to become some sort of insider.
What you must do is get involved in any way you can.
Go to the next meeting of the Howard Beach-Lindenwood Civic; reach out to all of your elected representatives – never forget that part of the title, because they are supposed to represent you and operate in your best interest; spread the word – responsibly – on social media.
Each ad notifying the public of the upcoming meeting of the HBL Civic features this note:
“Our meetings are attended by representatives from the NYPD, NYS Senate, NYS Assembly and the NYC Council. Have your questions and concerns addressed, as well as, receiving updates on issues that were discussed at past meetings.”
Perhaps another president said it best about civic engagement:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
– President Theodore Roosevelt


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