Letter: Community needs to get involved in government

From: Michael Greven, Nathan Haza, Jenny Heichelbech, Shreya Hurli, Hanna Omar, Lee Shipman, Penny Shumard, Zohie Wagner, Terry Whittaker and Jean Marr Wilkins

Members of the Bartholomew County Indivisible Administrative Group


A requirement of good representative government is that representatives meet with the constituents who elected them. Bartholomew County Indivisible invited U.S. Sen. Todd Young, R-Ind., and U.S. Rep. Luke Messer, R-Ind., to a town hall meeting on Aug. 24 from 7 to 9 p.m. at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 2651 California St., here in Columbus. Repeated invitations have been sent since March of this year to both national elected officials. We are saddened to learn that they have both refused to attend even though Congress is in recess. Given that Bartholomew County is the home of Vice President Mike Pence, we hoped that this critical tenet of democracy would be honored.

Even without the presence of our representatives, BCI will hold this town hall meeting and continue our efforts to enhance our community’s involvement in participatory, democratic government. A moderator will be asking 20 questions at the town hall meeting of stand-ins for Mr. Young and Mr. Messer. These questions, touching on subjects critical to the well-being of Bartholomew County residents, were generated by members of our community. These questions have also been forwarded to the offices of the representatives and are available to preview by going to the BCI website at bcindivisible.org. BCI is a nonpartisan group promoting policy benefiting the citizens of our community.

We look forward to the community’s involvement in this important civic function, which is the first of many town hall meetings to come. We are working on an invitation to U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., for a future town hall here.

As President Franklin Roosevelt so aptly stated, “Let us never forget that government is ourselves and not an alien power over us. The ultimate rulers of our democracy are not a president and senators and congressmen and government officials, but the voters of this country.”