Barack Obama & John Kasich Return to Political Spotlight with More Faith in the People – #HometownChat

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#HometownChat – “Smart Community, Special Service, Civic Dreams”

There’s lots of talk these days around the basketball court and the halls of Congress. Whether it’s looking at the first 100 days or getting ready for the White House Reporters Dinner or enjoying the NBA playoffs. Plus, Barack Obama & John Kasich have returned to the spotlight with more faith in the American people.

Obama has been on a post-presidency honeymoon, spending downtime in scenic locations. He recently met with students in Chicago discussing the importance of civic engagement. While it might feel like he’s walking a tightrope as former President, he’s working on preparing the next generation of service leaders.

In the case of Kasich, his return is largely due to his book tour. He’s concerned about the static nature of today’s public policy with the feeling that more gets said than done. His time as Ohio Governor and as presidential candidate stands-out in the minds of those who see the nation being challenged by divisions.

Sometimes policy arguments are more left versus right, middle-class versus 1%-class, starched-collar versus no collar. Increasingly it seems to be about voices that are softest versus loudest. With social media as an added ingredient for dissent it can be difficult to get a handle on how public policy might:

  1. Improve economic stock value at home and abroad.
  2. Bridge community strength in the city and countryside.
  3. Reduce social divide across the have’s and the haven’ts.
  4. Embrace personal security within the issues and without the threats.

A constant concern for everyday folks is whether their money is well spent. For some there’s more month than money and something might get postponed or dropped from the budget. But if there’s a will there’s a way to make it to the next check. It’s in how households survive based on what’s spent and what’s saved.

With talk of setting aside money for a border wall, it makes some wonder if that’s the right priority. How might that improve our economic stock value at home or abroad? There’re airports that need upgrading and buildings that need repairing. There’re projects that need investing and towns that need boosting.

A few years ago a bridge in Minnesota collapsed, killing some motorists. It’s a popular roadway serving the Twin Cities area in Minneapolis. Further investigation showed a structural design flaw. The bridge has been replaced but government reports show many more structures in cities and countryside need repair.

This bridge is a major thoroughfare used by those in the Twin Cities. Their economies are closely tied to the commerce that moves on the span. The importance of such a bridge shows the value of public policy whether it’s in connecting two cities or linking community strength between the city and the countryside.

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When traveling the highways and byways of America there’s much to see and much that’s not seen. From the rolling hills to the urban skyscrapers, there’s a sense for where resources are plenty and where it’s otherwise few. There’re pockets of ‘McMansion Estates’ and relics of rundown hometown squares.

With this comes a feeling of the have’s and the haven’ts. This might be seen in tax policy or healthcare programs. Some argue that the discussions are presented as a choice between having universal appeal or unrestrained profit. The policy debate will have the most credibility by serving the haven’ts just as well.

More and more we find personal security as an ongoing concern. There’s the issue of financial identity information kept out of the wrong hands. Others worry about getting pulled-over on the road where something minor becomes major. There’re some laws that appear to out-muscle the civil rights of citizens.

Public policy debates are helpful by an approach to the subject around the pros and cons of the issues. Sometimes when it’s a debate around safety the threat is about losing federal funding. But what’s to be gained by projecting a fear of others other than demonizing and dividing groups of people?

In parenting situations there’re different ways for getting the attention of a child. Sometimes it’s a stern look or raised voice for ‘putting the fear’ in them. However, there’s a fine line when crossed that might lead to intimidation or abuse. It’s probably better for a child’s self-esteem by ‘putting the faith’ in them.

Maybe that’s where Obama and Kasich can agree with good public policy working wonders by ‘putting the faith’ in people. As with smart parenting, it takes understanding the issues and the effects on a child. The next generation of Community 3.0 service leaders will make a difference by advancing smart community.

So in the words of Obama, if we are the change we seek, then citizens are agents of change to policy-makers. In the words of Kasich, if politicians are too locked-in to own their shadows, then citizens will have to step-out of the shadow. History shows that when people free their minds, the rest will follow.

Block Talkback: Why should officials who tend to put fear in people be anymore trusted by the public if ‘putting the faith’ in people is better for making a difference in community?

Groove-tracks: En Vogue – Free Your Mind – https://youtu.be/i7iQbBbMAFE

Beyoncé ft Kendrick Lamar – Freedom –  https://youtu.be/dOuZA5ftyJw