By ANDREW SATTERFIELD
My first foray into the government sphere has been a flurry of experiences. Thanks to these experiences, I can tell you that it is absolutely necessary for more of us to engage with our government systems.
Unfortunately, as conservatives we are too conservative with our engagement in the government sphere. I considered myself a staunchly apathetic conservative — I was fearless in the face of increased taxes because I was an “independent business owner who didn’t need entitlements.”
From the conversations I’ve had during this election season, I feel as though many of us expect the municipal and state government to raise taxes, increase in bureaucracy and wastefulness, and just barely break even on giving you and I “normal citizens” a decent society. Perhaps you’re like I was before I ran for State Senate and you abhor the idea of being engaged with the government system and our worthy opponents.
In fact, many independent voters I spoke with expressed similar feelings and views as the above paragraph. It seems like a lot of us want a government that is for them, but they don’t want to put the necessary effort into the process to make the dream (a quintessential conservative government) happen. This is why we are left stuttering and confused at the results of countless elections. Our worthy opponents — the public employee unions, the Democrats, and the “nonpartisan legislators,” have glorified public service, especially in the government sphere. It is a highly valued badge, a trophy that is earned whether you are a community council president or the governor of the state.
This is why we need you to engage now. The effort it takes for an unknown individual to campaign and win is enormous. Candidates and causes must achieve, in no particular order, name recognition, a campaign team with clear goals and motives, voter loyalty, and prove they’re the best solution to be voted for.
So I want to invite you into any of these pursuits:
- Get involved in your community council. I don’t care if you’re the only “normal person.” Get involved.
- Get involved in a mayoral commission. There is a huge list of openings, and there is a lot of opportunity for the conservative voice to come to the table and be heard in these meetings. Pick one and join it.
- Frequent the political meet and greets, fundraisers, and community housing events. Even the ones with that one Democrat that you can’t stand. You’ll quickly discover they’re human beings, and they are more complicated than what their persona gives off.
- Pursue legislators, community aid nonprofit organizations, and advocacy groups with the purpose to honor, listen, support, and even collaborate with them.
We’re looking down the muzzle of another election coming this April, 2023. Yes. Another one. I can almost hear the combination of annoyance and confusion of both the disengaged and non-voting conservatives/Republicans.
Here’s the rub, if more of us don’t engage our time and money into the government sector then it will be ruled by those who have no commonality with our way of life.
Andrew Satterfield ran for state Senate for East Anchorage in 2022, losing to Anchorage Assemblyman Forrest Dunbar. Satterfield owns a small business in Anchorage.