Be heard – vote yes for Ref. 1A | AspenTimes.com

Be heard – vote yes for Ref. 1A

Dear Editor:Fall is the best time of year to remember who we are as a community. It’s a good time to look around and see who’s riding by on their bike, who’s sitting at the next table, who’s behind you at the theater. As the leaves fall away, so do those who have other places they really need or prefer to be … school, work, a warmer vacation home perhaps. Those of us who are left, we make up the real community. We take our kids to school, set next year’s budgets, prepare the house for winter; we hike or bike on vacant trails, get fit for skiing, slow down and catch up with neighbors. And we vote. It is unfortunate that so many potential citizens do not vote in off-off-year elections. They don’t contain the glamour and sport of voting for Council or President, but local off-season elections are when your vote is actually most relevant. It’s not diluted by millions of others. It’s just one of a few. And the issues you get to decide directly affect your life and the lives of those that you see around you this time of year.This year Pitkin County citizens have the opportunity to recommit to our sense of community by voting for Referendum 1A, and thereby continue communitywide support for the Healthy Community Fund. For an annual cost of what is probably less than the fees on our monthly phone bills, we get to support dozens of local nonprofits that keep our community healthy, connected and productive. That small investment leads to a huge payback for our valley. The fund simply provides the seeds that enable more than 60 local organizations to grow their services and attract the other 95 percent of their revenue.You may have never needed the services supported by this fund. You might never be a senior citizen, or face a debilitating disease, know children or women who need protection from abuse, or have a loved one with chemical dependence. But your employee on the bike, your friends at the next table, your neighbors in the theater … they do … and will find relief, solace, stability, even health and productivity due to your support of Referendum 1A. It takes more than just being here this time of year. Voting and active participation in your community are what define you as a local and a citizen. So be a local citizen this fall and mail in the ballot that you receive next week.John Mastersexecutive director, GrassRoots Community Television