Assemblyman offers another way to fulfill our civic duty

“Ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.” — John F. Kennedy

The newly elected president was asking Americans to participate — to give back to their country in ways other than simply paying their taxes, and the most basic way in which people can do that is to take part in the most fundamental elements of government — the democratic process.

While we realize there are times when it feels as if one voice won’t change anything, we believe government needs people to actively engage in order to work properly.

Thanks to the Internet and a local lawmaker, it’s now a bit easier to contribute.

Through his website, Assemblyman Troy Singleton, D-7th of Palmyra, is soliciting constituent feedback on several pieces of current legislation.

A prompt on takes visitors to Citizen Co-Sponsor, which encourages the public to take the words of our Founding Fathers to heart and fully participate in our democracy by submitting thoughts on legislation pending in Trenton.

Residents can offer their opinions on the Aid for Dying bill, which would allow doctors to prescribe lethal doses of drugs to terminally ill patients, and on legislation that would repeal the state’s inheritance tax, among others. Some of the bills are sponsored by the assemblyman, some by his colleagues in the Statehouse.

We encourage you to take a look.

Participation is certainly an important component of a functioning democracy, but the ways in which people are engaged in and contribute to it are directly related to that democracy’s success.

If meaningful participation in the legislative process is made more difficult due to a lack of understanding, then we need more and better ways to disseminate that information, which would include Citizen Co-Sponsor.

Of course, readers don’t need to limit themselves to one website to learn more about proposed legislation. Most elected officials have their own websites featuring the legislation they’ve sponsored, or you can research state legislation by bill number or key word at the state Legislature’s site,

This country’s system of participatory self-governance is messy and flawed, but when you engage people, you have a much better chance of holding government accountable. And that’s everyone’s civic duty.

Original article