Dismayed by the Lack of Participation

As a parent of two children in Clinton, I am dismayed by the lack of participation in the town budget referendum on May 13. Five thousand eligible voters chose to not take 10 minutes to vote on budgets that directly impact the youth of our town! Clinton schoolchildren will now receive fewer services and supplies, because not enough people voted for them. Services that would prevent substance abuse and mental health problems may now be cut, because not enough people came out to support these programs. Residents without children will also be impacted by youth who may lose their way, but couldn’t be helped by the community programs such as Partners in Community, Fantastic Friends, Summer Partners, and REACT, because they were casualties of budget cuts. My children participate in the aforementioned programs, and they are richer, stronger individuals for it. Not only are they collecting developmental assets for themselves; they are also giving back to their community with the empathy they are learning toward their fellow classmates and citizens.

When tragedies happen, residents look for a scapegoat for what could have prevented such an incident. Voting in budget referendums can make that kind of a difference! If the progress for which Clinton strives is kept in the budget by people coming out and voting for the budget, services will actually be available, and positive outcomes can continue to occur. If people choose to not take 10 minutes to vote and support positive, necessary programs and services for our youth, then all the residents in our town will suffer.

I implore your readers to vote in the next budget referendum and keep Clinton moving forward! Let it not take a tragedy to motivate enough people to get involved and vote for our youth, who are the future of our town.

Elizabeth S. Robison

Published May 20, 2015 – http://www.zip06.com/letters/20150520/dismayed-by-the-lack-of-participation

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