2021 | Week of May 17 | Radio Transcript #1412
It is time to roll up our sleeves! I’ve been saying that all across the state since February. It’s way more than just the title of a presentation I’ve now done fifteen times in fifteen different Wisconsin communities. It’s a declaration that the time has come for Christians in particular to go to work taking back our communities from liberals and their dastardly agendas.
To put it succinctly, we need to become guardians of our communities! If we don’t do it, someone else will. And we probably won’t like what they impose on us. But once the “bad stuff,” so to speak, gets in, it’s not so easy to remove. It’s not impossible, and it’s definitely worth trying, but it’s harder than stopping something before it becomes policy.
Being a guardian of our communities will require we roll up our sleeves and get ready to work. As I’ve said many times local government is the unit of government that has the most direct impact on our lives, and it is also the unit of government where we can have the most impact. In most communities around Wisconsin, the size and working of local government is both under manageable and understandable.
In addition, often we know at least some of the people serving in local government. We might go to church with them, or our kids are in the same school or play on the same team. Or they might be our neighbors or the neighbors of people we know. That reality right there makes engaging with local government easier than engaging with the state or federal government.
Local government has a number of access points including, mayoral offices or city administrators, city councils, town and village boards, county boards, school boards, and sheriffs. Each of these areas have people who sit in decision-making seats—and make decisions they do—decisions that many times impact us and our families in one way or another. Certainly the decisions these people make influence the directions our communities go—whether along liberal or conservative ideology paths.
In addition to these access points where everyone is elected, most municipalities have committees, boards and commissions that include non-elected citizen volunteers. Typically the highest ranking local official makes these appointments. Examples include police and fire commissions, water and sewer commissions, library boards, ethics committees, zoning committees, health boards, public works commission, finance committee and many more.
These government committees, boards and commissions often are where ideas originate but almost always they are where the first votes happen on proposals before going to the full government body, such as a city council, town or village board or a county board. To say these local committees, boards and commissions are important is an understatement.
Rolling up our sleeves to get involved with our local government means getting educated on who serves as elected officials and as non-elected volunteers in these decision-making bodies. It also means figuring out where these people are on key issues. Do they generally vote conservatively? Are the proposals they author conservative in nature or more liberal? What is their demeanor in meetings? Are they leaders or followers? Knowing this kind of information and more helps as you begin strategizing on how to impact these decision-makers.
Becoming guardians of our communities also means finding and helping good candidates to run for all offices, keeping track of the agendas of the various entities, and definitely organizing likeminded people in the community. One person voicing a concern about something or seeking to implement a good policy can be easily ignored, but when it’s obvious many people are informed and involved, that’s an entirely different situation and one not easily ignored. Organized letters-to-the-editor campaigns, petition drives, appearances at meetings—even at the committee level—can make a powerful, positive difference.
For the last decade liberals have been gaining control of our local governments and imposing such things as bans on so-called “conversion therapy,” special rights and protections for those in the LGBTQ+ crowd, critical race theory and comprehensive sex education in our schools—and more. Local governments are the ones that last year trounced on our religious freedom by closing churches during COVID.
It’s time to reverse course. It’s time to roll up our sleeves and get involved right where we live. As I say at our events, we’re not asking people to slay dragons in the big bad world; we’re just urging people to take on some lizards in their own backyards. This is doable. And it’s time.
This is Julaine Appling for Wisconsin Family Council reminding you the prophet Hosea said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”