Your Voice Makes a DifferenceBy Paul Campbell
Article Date: 10-01-2008
Copyright(C) 2008 Associated Equipment Distributors. All Rights Reserved.
Many people are counting on you - elected officials must know how their decisions impact you, your family and your employees.
We live in historic times. You will soon have the opportunity for your voice to be heard and participate in a presidential election that will provide a first in our nation’s history – regardless of who wins. As we all know, our political system is unlike any other in the world. Where else on earth can someone from humble beginnings rise to become the leader of the free world, as has happened so many times throughout our nation’s history? Where else on earth do ordinary citizens have a say in what paths the most powerful nation in the world chooses to take? Regardless of your political affiliation, your voice counts. I distinctly remember the first time I went to Washington, D.C., to attend the AED Government Affairs Committee meeting, which is held every spring in our nation’s capital. I remember being awestruck by the size and scope of our federal government. Walking through the halls of such historic buildings past seemingly endless offices of elected officials can obviously be overwhelming. But then something happened. I walked through one of the many doors, into the office of our local Congressman, and sat across from him in his office. We spoke of things that affected the lives of people back home – his home and mine. We talked about the challenges our nation faces building infrastructure sufficient to maintain our quality of life and ensure our competitiveness as a nation. We talked about how government regulation affects our business and the lives of our employees. We talked about our local NBA team. At the end of our brief visit, he thanked me for coming to Washington and taking time to see him. He told me how every day he hears from countless people, all espousing their own agenda. He then told me how much he appreciated hearing from someone back home who actually has a payroll to meet and how the actions of our elected officials affect the lives of his constituents. It was then that I realized you can make a difference. Even in a place like Washington, D.C., your voice counts. Your elected officials not only need to hear what you have to say, they want to hear what you have to say. They want to know how their actions impact the lives of those they were elected to represent. Simply put, you can make a difference. You should make a difference. It is our privilege and responsibility to be a part of the process and our collective future depends on it. Our Responsibility
Ulysses S. Grant once said, “Our great modern Republic: May those who seek the blessings of its institutions and the protection of its flag remember the obligations they impose.” We have the privilege, right, and the obligation to be a part of the process. We simply cannot abdicate our responsibility in the hope that someone else will speak for us. While we have a tremendous group of AED folks working for us in Washington led by Christian Klein, they can’t do it alone. They need our help. It has been demonstrated time and time again that the most influential people who speak to elected officials are the constituents of that official. The people he or she actually represents and answers to in the long run.
You have a voice in selecting which way our country goes at one of the most critical junctures in our nation’s history. Don’t sit on the sidelines and watch the parade go by. Get involved. We must take the time to truly understand the issues and how they impact us as individuals, our families, our businesses and the world. The decisions made in the next few years regarding the environment, our nation’s infrastructure (land, air and water), foreign policy, and government support programs will not only impact our lives and the lives of our employees, but also the lives of our children, grandchildren and perhaps even our great-grandchildren. Those charged with making those decisions must know how their choices impact your life and the lives of your families and employees. We must ask ourselves: If we don’t speak for them, who will? If you haven’t had a chance to do so, please take the time to get involved, understand the issues and how those whom we elect will impact this country and our future. Take the time to get to know those who represent you in Washington and at home. Having a voice in our future is a priceless treasure given to us by all those who so bravely and unselfishly fought for and continue to sacrifice for our freedom to choose. At the very least, we owe it to them if not to ourselves to make our voices heard.
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