Participate In Local Government With Respect

Participate In Local Government With Respect

By Christina Williams,

Criticism of government leaders and a lack of confidence in our elected officials is common these days, even at the local level. External conflicts like we sometimes see at public meetings can provide an understanding of other perspectives. Providing a fair hearing of issues at these meetings assures that the needs of the community are heard.

The “Public Comments” portion of the agenda at public meetings is open to all who have something to say. This time should be utilized by concerned citizens to help steer their elected officials towards addressing public needs. You don’t have to be a polished politician, or even a professional speaker to influence your local government. You just need to be willing to exercise your freedom of speech and speak up.

When you address public meetings, remember that the officials and staff present are not there to be subjected to intimidation or personal attacks. While you may be extremely upset about an issue, explaining your concerns in a calm and respectful manner will ensure your message will be heard and considered. When rudeness enters public comments to the point of defamatory remarks there is no public purpose being met.

Appreciate your local elected officials willingness to hear everyone’s remarks at public meetings and go and voice your concerns to them. Or, just go to the meetings to listen and show your interest. Bring something relevant and actionable before your officials for a public good on behalf of your community.

Christina Williams is the Executive Director for the Pasquotank PAC. The Conservative organization meets on the SECOND and FOURTH Tuesdays at 7pm at Towne South Church at 2224 Peartree Road in Elizabeth City, NC. More information at

Published in Albemarle Tradewinds November 2021 magazine.