Recently I have had several discussions with fellow Bermudians(especially the under 30’s) about issues and concerns they have on a wide variety of issues. There seems to be a breakdown in the public’s understanding in their ability to make changes in the community. There also seems to be a Iack of understanding on how to go about contacting the local Government to express these issues.
Before we get started, never forget that the Government is established to serve the country, people and community. Politicians and officials are in office to make decisions on the peoples behalf. Dialogue with the people is imperative.
Bringing issues, suggestions and concerns to government representatives is encouraged and appreciated. The Government connot prioritize effectively to tackle issues without the feedback of the community.
Lets look into how to go about bringing issues to light for your Government to listen and act on.
Firstly, don’t be afraid to do a little homework! Learn about your issue in detail. Know your constituency/regional representatives. Carefully document the issue at hand. Researching as many details as you can about your issue is not only helpful for Government, but it will help you better convey your points. In a nutshell, always ensure that you know what you’re talking about.
Who is responsible and accountable for your issue or concern? Are you contacting the right department? Are you contacting the most appropriate person for your inquiry or motion?
In theory, sending your garbage pickup queries to the Premier and Governor may seem logical to some. However contacting the Ministry of Public Works that is specifically accountable for garbage pickup will produce better results. In this example contacting your constituency and regional representatives responsible for the area of the garbage pickup inquiry is also helpful. It’s easier to kill one bird with two or more stones.
When it comes to dealing with anybody, know that If you want honey, dont kick over the beehive! The public is not mandated to be respectful, patient and understanding. Your Government is professional and will help you regardless. However it is more likely for your local representatives to go the extra mile on your behalf when you don’t wrinch, scream, and hurl insults at them. Times are changing. Scrutiny from the public, press, and opposition is all too common. Bermuda needs lots of work done to get back on track. Your Government has never been busier. Patience and understanding will go a long way.
Email, Call, or attend Open Caucus Meetings. These options give you the chance to directly communicate to the Government.
There is strength in numbers, thus there is also power in petitions. This may seem a bit old school for my younger audience, but petitions create results. Petitions with real physical signatures hold a lot of weight. Getting neighbors and others supportive of your motion to the Government is more effective than a single persons motion. Create a physical, tangible petition with real signatures. Internet petitions are not as effective in my opinion.
Get Involved! Maybe you can help out with the solution to your problem. Helping your constituency/region to manage other’s similar issues may appeal to you after your achievement of a solution to your issue from Government.
Hopefully this may help to get the attention, consideration, and relevant solution to your issue from Government.
Remember that research, documentation, patience, tactfullness, and sometimes assistance is the way to go.
Helping the Government to help you is the way forward as a community and Island.