Anyone that actually knows me understands that I don’t buy the hype about much.
I’m the guy who wore sneakers to the 8th grade dinner dance and I’m rarely quick to buy a new app or gadget.
I just don’t believe in the drama of life. I try to abstain from it as much as possible.
That is especially true when it comes to politics and public life.
We, the people control our politics whether we want to believe it or not, and we have the power to make change whether we want the burden or not.
I don’t care about the pomp and ceremony of politics. I’m not interested in the game of it. I care about getting things done and making real progress for real people.
That is why it bothers me when I see the current crop of politicians on the local and national level.
Some are forward thinking and interested in making change, but most are wastes of space, seeking only their own career advancement.
From climate change to the widening income gap to the atrocious way in which we treat adults with developmental disabilities, we face real challenges in South Florida and across the country.
I almost ran for the state legislature last week after being encouraged to by family and friends.
I almost did it. Almost drove to Tallahassee to register as a candidate. Almost bought voter data. Almost designed a logo. Almost built a campaign team.
We could have put up quite the fight. And one day, we might.
But I didn’t run because I believe that RISE NEWS can become something really special and I want to focus all my energy on making this collective dream a reality.
Over the course of the last year, we have published pieces from scores of talented and idealistic young people from all over the United States and some other parts of the world.
We have broke news and made people think about the future while giving voice to the disparate parts of our generation.
But we still have much more to do and so many more stories to tell.
I don’t believe in the status quo way of doing things in either politics or journalism. Neither do large swaths of the public.
I don’t believe that politics should be a dirty game that few want to play.
And I don’t believe that journalism should be an elite endeavor that few feel connected to.
I do believe in speaking truth to power however and in shaking things up in order to bring about change.
So that is what we will strive to do.
We cannot allow our generation to grow cynical in politics. We are the only hope this country has to fix the biggest problems facing our future.
And we will do more in this publication to fight for the things we believe in moving forward.
Journalism can only work when you believe in it. And we hope to earn your trust as we work to find the truth, and labor for what is right and just in our society.
Finally, I’d like to encourage young people to get involved in public life in whatever way they feel that they best can, whether that is on the side of running for office or keeping those running for office accountable.
Accountability doesn’t have to be a big dramatic production after all.
It can be something as small as paying attention to how your representatives vote on important issues and remembering their votes come election time.
RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.
Cover Photo Credit: Jim Bowen/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)