The federal government represents the entire country. However, they can’t make decisions for small communities with unique needs and philosophies. Local governments try, but they often struggle to earn support from the whole community. It comes down to the people in a community to come together and create the community they want. It starts by connecting with the local neighborhood. Try these 4 tips for staying engaged in your community.
1. Watch Local News
You need to know what’s going on in your community to get more involved with it. You can learn the latest news by watching the local news 9 channel before work or before bed. The local news will cover topics that won’t make it to the national news syndicate. You will learn about new laws, new businesses, and events. You will also have talking points for interactions with your neighbors.
2. Spend Money at Local Businesses
Support your local economy instead of large chains. Instead of going to McDonald’s or Wendy’s, visit the local taco stand or diner. You should also visit the local hardware store and bookstore instead of going to large chains. Speak with the people you meet, especially local business owners. Promote your favorite businesses to your friends to help them out. When they see that you enjoyed their work enough to recommend them, the relationship will grow deeper. Local establishments will become places where you have friends, not just connections.
3. Volunteer at Local Charities
Connect with neighbors who share similar values by volunteering for your favorite local charity once a month. You will be able to connect with people on a deeper level than a simple cocktail party, and you will all share the same goal, bringing you closer together. As you establish a name for yourself in the charity, volunteer to take on more responsibilities and get more involved.
4. Participate in Local Communications and Events
Most towns have social media groups or chatrooms for residents. Join these online platforms to see what people are talking about, and don’t be afraid to give your opinion (in a respectful manner). Use the platform to learn about and attend local events. You may encounter a town hall discussion about next year’s budget or a block party near your house.
It’s important to be a part of the community around you. You will make professional and personal relationships that can become beneficial to you. You have to extend your hand to them first, though. If you put the effort in, you will see the return.
About the author:
Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She loves being outdoors and researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure. You can connect with her on Facebook right here and Twitter right here.