We are living in a world that is changing more rapidly than any other time in history. Each new generation throughout history has seen the depth of change evolve at a faster pace than the generation before it.
A great example of this is that we are a society who spends much of its time viewing electronic devices, thus giving us nearly instant access to world, national and local happenings. I would like to share a few ideas that could be impactful to you and your family’s future.
I will begin with the topic of voter turnout, which has increasingly become an embarrassment for the United States. Today we no longer see a strong majority of residents in our country caring or even bothering to vote for candidates of any political party. Some of us have lived more than a half-century and can recall a time when a surprisingly large majority of our fellow citizens turn out to proudly cast their votes.
Research shows that Indiana voters are encountering many of the same problems and issues that citizens face in the other 49 states. Hoosiers do get bombarded with strange political ads that sometimes lack basic common sense.
These ads come from a variety of sources, such as the candidates themselves or one of the political action committees (PAC), and then there are all kinds of special-interest organizations spending large amounts of money to win our votes for specific candidates. These high-dollar and mostly misleading ads can leave the average person feeling more confused after hearing or viewing them.
My wife and I moved to Hancock County in 2014 with little knowledge about the political parties of Hancock County. I have been informed by several people who have lived many years in the area that in more recent years the Republican Party gained a dominance in fielding candidates for many public offices. While it had not always been this way in the years past, the reality is we are primarily governed by one party locally, and when this happens by either party the residents lose the ability to have much-needed competitive elections.
We deserve more open accountability that only a two-party system can produce. I believe every one of us who live in Hancock County cares about the problems and the solutions that will make our county better.
As the new Democratic Party chair, I expect to spend time focusing on reaching out and communicating with as many residents as I can. I believe these caring and giving people will make a huge difference to the democratic process during the 2016 elections. We need candidates to focus on areas such as creating better jobs, improving education, road and bridge infrastructure, and fair taxes. We should look closely for how best to resolve issues in a mutually constructive and thoughtful way, by sharing information about issues with county residents before making permanent and lasting decisions that affect so many of them personally.
My hope is that through good communication we will see improved participation by Hancock County residents in the voting process. If you believe strongly in having a voice in your government we ask you to please vote; if you want to see things change and improve for the better, I know the Democratic Party will welcome you.
Hancock County is in a great position to be a great economic leader in our state during the coming years. We need officeholders from both parties to work closely with officials from Marion County to give Hancock County some additional advantages when it comes to having better incomes through job growth.
With fuller employment comes higher pay, more workers adding increased dollars for county revenue without adding new tax increases. We can fix more roads and repair bridges that will attract more business in the future. Economic growth is circular by nature, and if we put the tools in place for growth then new businesses will come to the area.
We know Hancock County is a great place to live. A strong two-party system will make it even better, but it takes the people to get involved. If you don’t get involved, everything stays the same.
On Jan. 6, 2016, filing for county offices began; filing closes on Feb. 5, 2016. The 2016 open office seats to be filled include treasurer, coroner, two county commissioners and three county council members. You can become a part of this process by emailing the Hancock County Democrats at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Randy Johnson of Greenfield is the current Hancock County Democratic Chair. He can be reached at email@example.com.