There was a very enlightening editorial in the Tribune this morning, but judging by the number of comments it has received online I suspect that not many people read it. That’s probably the very definition of irony as the editorial speaks of how few people voted for Warren’s elected city officials. You can see the numbers in the chart to the right.
While I remain optimistic about the future of Warren most days, progress will be too slow and too incremental unless a greater number of people living in the city take an active role in creating the future they want. And it isn’t just about voting.
Election participation is just an expression of the scope of the problem. Attend any meeting of City Council or one of its committee meetings and you see the same 20 or so faces. Attend any neighborhood association meeting and you’ll see the same 10 people. Attend any event associated with the betterment of the city and it is the same 50 faces.
I estimate that there are no more than 250 people actively engaged in community improvement in the city of Warren. That is less than 1/2 of 1% of the population. There are certainly a greater number of people filled with strongly held opinions about the nature and cause of the city’s problems — and they are generally based on wildly inaccurate information about the problems and what’s being done about it. Those people don’t just do nothing, they make matters worth by spreading misinformation and bile to the rest of us.
I’ve spent enough time in the media business to know there is very little to be gained by hectoring one’s audience. I’ve had this data for more than six months but resisted publishing it because I felt there was little to be gained. But the cat is out of the bag now so you might as well know the depth of the problem. Please don’t comment saying it’s all the fault of this party or that, this person or another. The fault dear reader, is ours.