Let your voice — and your vote — be heard

This week I choose to vent. The theme throughout our country, at least by the media, is transparency. Americans would love to trust those we elect to represent us at all levels of government. But do we?

In South Carolina we elect 124 members to the S.C. House of Representatives and 46 members to the S.C. Senate. This year, this Legislature’s sessions convened on Jan. 13 and ended June 4. However, since they chose to argue and disagree, almost nothing was done and they chose to extend their sessions into June.

Although concerned voters made calls, wrote letters and sent emails asking their elected officials to “Please repair our roads and bridges, simply to make them safe!” voters’ pleas were ignored. Ashamedly, our Legislature has now said they will deal with that issue next January.

Apparently they have more pressing legislation, i.e. the UBER Bill. Do not misunderstand, this is an important issue. However, the safety of anyone traveling in South Carolina should be a top priority. At least, to me, that should be paramount.

Hopefully this extended session will improve the current Legislature’s track record. If they continue to ignore voters’ pleas, I certainly feel we are within our rights to seek new candidates that are willing to work for us. Now, to me, your right to vote is sacred and tremendously important.

Unfortunately, our representatives can now be swayed by lobbyists and special interest groups, often taking precedence over the wishes of you, the voter. I believe it is high time we hold every elected official accountable. If we are ever going to usher in change, we must demand this accountability.

So you see, what you do matters. You, and only you, can help. Not getting involved can prove disastrous. However, you must follow up and tell your elected leaders how you feel on each issue. It does not matter whether you voted for this particular official. This action will allow you to hold our elected officials accountable.

Well, only you can determine our country’s well-being and you do that by not only voting but by following up and ensuring your wishes are met by our elected leaders. The question is simply this: Do you want our legislators swayed by special interests, or by you? I urge you to please get involved.

If you do not have your elected leaders’ information, simply call your Newberry County Chamber of Commerce at 803-276-4274 and we will be more than happy to provide names, numbers, and addresses. Let’s flood our elected leaders with our thoughts and wishes on every issue then, by all means, follow up on their performance. You can make a difference, but only if you get involved.

Here at your Newberry County Chamber of Commerce, we would enjoy meeting you. Stop by and meet Liz, Michelle and me. We love to tell you about your Chamber and would appreciate telling you how you might become a Chamber member. Stop and see us at Community Hall, 1209 Caldwell St., or call 276-4274.