“[T]he people are the rightful masters of both Congresses, and courts–not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert it. . . .”
–Abraham Lincoln, from the Lincoln Papers, Notes for Speech in Kansas and Ohio, p2.
In July of 2013, Colorado Springs City Council decided to opt out of retail marijuana (RMJ) sales, even though Colorado Springs passed Amendment 64. According to the County Commissioner’s Election Report, 105,909 people voted to opt into the amendment, and only 100,962 voting to opt out. The locality as a whole decided, by vote, to allow recreational marijuana sales. All arguments to the contrary are simply false.
Controversy over the City Council’s decision sparked a grassroots reform movement in Colorado Springs. The first official meeting for the citizens’ coalition, Every Vote Counts, occurred on August 4, 2013. I joined the movement, and as a group, we came together to make plans for reform, which others might call revolt. In any guise or under any name, people in Colorado Springs attest that the time has come. Amid the failing economy, political discontent, and general malaise affecting America as a whole, this cause and its proponents offer a ray of hope to us all.
Many think the Colorado Springs City Council’s decision reflects contempt and complete disregard for voter wishes, as I discussed in a video I posted recently, which you can view on YouTube here. Our City Council, per Mayor Steve Bach‘s urging, has disregarded 4,947 votes. Two of our At-Large City Council Members, Merv Bennett and Val Snider, voted to ban RMJ sales against the will of the people, even though At-Large Council Members should, by definition, vote with the people’s majority. Both Amendment 64 opponents and proponents consider this unacceptable and irresponsible government.
Our leaders’ choice represents a great injustice. I urge all who agree that our votes should count to take a moment and spread the word. Even folks not living in Colorado Springs or America will feel this debate’s effects because Colorado Springs could set the precedent for an already divided nation. When our votes no longer hold value, local and national leadership can abuse power more effectively. Some think they can throw away citizens’ opinions and ignore the will of the people, but they are wrong.
If you agree that our votes should matter, then please take a moment to do the following. First, educate others. Share a video on Facebook and Twitter. Like US Represented so you can receive updates in your Facebook Feed. Friend me on Facebook as well, as I try to post real-time coverage on Facebook and Twitter when I attend city council meetings. Share this article with your friends over any social media you use. Start a discussion with acquaintances about the value of the vote. If they think votes should matter, have them join you and spread the word across the globe. Revolutions come in many shapes and sizes, but together, we really can change our nation and the world, one step, one person, and one vote at a time.
Second, for those who’d like to take a more direct course, help organize reform efforts locally. Support local causes by offering monetary help, volunteering, and spreading the word. For those who want to get involved in this specific debate, please contact Colorado Springs City Council Members. Just click the link to visit their website, and email or phone away to your heart’s content. You can also use snail mail or fill out a form online if you prefer. If the Colorado Springs City Council knows people throughout the world are watching, they might just shape up, listen, and react appropriately. If you have a similar effort, share your own links down in the comments section. Collaboration will hold us all together, and as a group, we have more power to leverage against irresponsible and unresponsive leadership.
The third step is to realize that this is a revolution. We will fight, but we will also experience setbacks. When setbacks occur, we’ll collect ourselves, analyze problem areas, and get back into the fight. Revolutions aren’t easy, but they are often necessary. Finally, we will achieve the change for which we’ve worked, but this will not come about overnight. We must be steadfast. Even if a victory seems only a small step in a larger, longer plan, know that none of us ever fights alone. This is not only an American phenomenon. Others all over the globe are ready for this change, and we collectively will revolution to occur. We are with you, just as you are with us.
Whether we’re casting votes in Egypt or Detroit; whether we’re choosing Presidents or making public policy decisions; and whether we agree with the issue or not, the citizens’ votes should guide our legislature and officials to action. No matter the country, the vote acts as an essential key to any democracy. When government places itself against the will of the people, the people have the prerogative and civic duty to change our government. This is a call to join the revolution. Join us, and together, we can change the world.
Educate. Organize. Revolt.
Join the Revolution.Questions? Want to volunteer?
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