New Year’s resolutions we can all agree on in 2011
January 7, 2011

In this, the beginning of a New Year, the Gazette offers some New Year’s resolutions for all of us to consider.

Let’s resolve to vote intelligently.

In the Mayor’s race, let’s resolve to think about who the best candidate will be on legitimate issues—finances, taxes, crime, education, government transparency, fair treatment of City workers, adequate funding of pensions, an end to the politics of clout, etc.

Let’s not make a decision based on race, who gets the most publicity, who the pundits are talking about, who has raised the most money, whose face is in the most television ads, who says the funniest things, and all the other similar meaningless issues the mainstream media like to play up.

Let’s resolve to get involved with community organizations.

At the Gazette, we deal with our local community groups all the time. If you like what your local community organization is doing, become a part of it; rest assured, no matter how good a job they’re doing, they need more help. If you don’t like what your local community organization is doing, that’s even more reason to become involved. They won’t change unless you make them.

Let’s resolve to shop locally.

Sure, it’s easy to go on the Internet or travel to a megamall in the suburbs and buy something from a vendor you never heard of in a location nowhere near this community. It’s just as easy to take a walk or a ride and to buy something from neighborhood businesses that employ neighborhood people and keep money right in the neighborhood. In these difficult times, we don’t want to see a community full of whitewashed windows and vacant stores because we tried to save a few cents shopping online or outside the city.

Let’s resolve to be more active citizens.

Sure, everyone is busy, but with voicemail and e-mail, it’s easier and less time-consuming than ever to contact elected officials and police and let them know what concerns you in the community. And if you can find the time, write an actual letter or go to community meetings held by elected officials and police. Since a lot of people don’t bother, if you do, you’ll find your voice is surprisingly persuasive with public officials wanting to gauge the opinion of the community.

Let’s resolve to forego fear.

The conservative fears the “socialist” left; the liberal fears the “right-wing wackos;” everyone fears increased crime; and the mainstream media turns everything, including a projected snowfall, into a crisis. In reality, liberals aren’t socialists, conservatives aren’t crazy, crime is actually down, and the mainstream media hype fear. In reality, in our communities and in our work places, we get along with people unlike ourselves just fine every day.

Let’s resolve to accentuate the positive.

Remember that Americans still enjoy some of the highest standards of healthcare, prosperity, education, and comfort in the world. And that it would be better to start off 2011 with a positive attitude than with one of unwarranted gloom and doom. So get engaged. Get involved. Make your community a better place for you, your family, and your neighbors.

And have a Happy New Year!