People of Arizona, hear me! I have been writing about civic engagement in an average Arizonan’s life this semester at Arizona State University and I have seen so much (in)action.

Because of the presidential election, many citizens turned out and participated. However, many stayed home and let others speak for them. In Arizona, we have a tradition of great representatives. From Barry Goldwater to Carl Hayden, people took interest in politics here and we were given great representation that helped transform Arizona into what it is today.

I can see how people might want to avoid Arizona politics: It is a dirty process and can be a messy affair. However, we have seen what a disengaged electorate has produced. Many politicians must pander to their increasingly extreme base during their elections as the middle, more moderate voters decide that voting just is not for them. When this happens, the moderate vote counts less and less and soon the electorate only serves the interests of a few motivated voters.

Once you have all the tools and logic behind being civically involved, I would really encourage you to become involved in the political process. Politics may seem like a place where real problems go to languish, but I see a place where people can come together and solve the problems that we have today in a real life scenario. I find the ideas and policies put forward today as fascinating as a soap opera, because politics in Arizona is so diverse.

Peter Northfelt

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