The midterm elections are history. Soon, we will roll into a new year. Thus, today is the perfect moment to make a resolution for 2019 that’s easy to keep: Exercise your civic muscle.
It is important to continue the momentum of voter involvement that we saw in the midterms. Millennials voted in record numbers, minorities in some states overcame voter suppression efforts and Oregonians continued to demonstrate that vote by mail can eliminate a lot of potential fraud issues. Most of all, we Americans acted on our right to vote.
You can keep building on this success. Even without an immediate election cycle on the horizon, you can stay informed and be an active citizen so you’re ready the next time your civic duty calls. And it’s easy. Lane County has an abundance of organizations that work on civic issues, but I’m particularly knowledgeable about City Club of Eugene because I am this year’s president.
Our weekly programs run the gamut from arts to technology to politics, from local to national and international concerns, and from ideas that deserve more attention to new perspectives on old topics. Recently, more than 140 people were in the audience as representatives of Our Children’s Trust discussed their federal lawsuit about climate change. To help voters make informed decisions, we hosted candidate debates and spotlights on ballot measures. We’ll keep looking for topics that add depth to your thinking — and sometimes, it will be subjects you haven’t even thought about yet!
To further inspire you to make a civic resolution, here are the names of some of our speakers coming to City Club of Eugene in January and February: Oregon Supreme Court Chief Justice Martha Walters, former Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber, UO President Michael Schill and Eugene City Councilor Greg Evans.
You can attend City Club of Eugene on Fridays at noon at the UO’s Continuing and Professional Education building at 10th and High. Or, you can listen on Mondays at 6:30 pm on KLCC (89.7 FM) or watch the programs on community television (Channel 29). Learn more at our website, cityclubofeugene.org and on our Facebook page.
In our area, you may also want to check out City Club of Springfield (springfieldcityclub.org); in Florence, visit cityclubofflorence.org.
For any of our groups, you can attend meetings, join or donate, sponsor the club, show up for special events, check the website and tell others about us.
Whatever you do to be an active, involved citizen, rest assured that your civic New Year’s resolution is one you’ll be able to keep. It won’t gather dust or go unfulfilled. You’ll never regret being an informed citizen, and the bonus is that you will help to keep democracy alive in our republic.
Happy Civic 2019!
Joel Korin is this year’s president of City Club of Eugene