A Better Region 8: Participate in Your Government

Recently Gallup released a poll showing how much residents trusted their state government. Arkansas rated above average. Missouri a little lower. The results would have us believe that we put a lot of faith in our decision makers at the state level.  But what about our local government?

Last week, Region 8 News did a story about a controversy surrounding Brookland Mayor Kenneth Jones.  Mayor Jones held a special meeting at Brookland City Hall to address accusations directed towards him in a letter written anonymously.  During the meeting, Mayor Jones responded to the accusations in a very open way.

Again - the important thing to note is that he did so, in a public forum, where his constituents could attend and participate. When our camera was there, we noticed only a few people showed up. While this special meeting was called only a few hours earlier – I ask the question, how many of us attend a city council or quorum court meeting on a regular basis? How about ever?

It's something I think all of us could do better. Get involved - if we trust our law makers – and even if we don't.  While it's important for us as a news organization to report on all levels of our government – it's up to you to show up and let your voice be heard. Being involved in our democratic process is what makes this country so special and this a Better Region 8.