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Your voice matters


The very idea of a democracy is grounded in the concept that power is vested in the people.

Our system is designed to ensure that each person has an equal opportunity to express their opinions, ideas, and concerns


Your voices are the foundation upon which our democracy is built. Your participation is vital in the process of good governance.


Without your voice, I am unable to accurately represent your needs and interests.


In addition, this involvement by citizens is instrumental in holding representatives accountable.


Through our conversations, town hall meetings, and via other communication platforms, you challenge me and fellow representatives to be transparent, responsible, and dedicated to serving our communities. This accountability forms the cornerstone of a healthy democracy, keeping us all in check and ensuring the government is acting in the best interest of its citizens.


The time that I am home is a great opportunity to see and hear from many of you.


Which is why this is my focus this summer: to hear your voice and give more opportunities for communication and understanding.


For example, I am hosting several town halls and coffee meetings, to hear from more Kelowna residents and listen to concerns.


The first town hall is coming up tomorrow at 6:30-8:30pm at Kelowna Christian Centre at 905 Badke Road.


The next one will be on August 14th, at Sun City Cherries, followed by one in Kettle Valley for parents and kids August 22.


These are open forums and my hope is that we have full rooms and long lines to the microphone.


What else can you do to get involved and ensure our democratic system thrives?


Read the news, or write letters or emails to your elected officials.


I always ask a question at the end of these columns. I read every response and your insights provide me with a crucial perspective on the issues that matter most to our community.


This next way may seem obvious, but it's worth reiterating. Vote. Voting is one of the most powerful tools you have to influence government policies. Make sure you're registered, know when and where to vote, and encourage others to do the same.


Volunteer or Join a Local Group. Whether it's a community service organization, a local political party, or a special interest group, getting involved in these groups is a great way to participate in the democratic process.


Run for Office. If you feel passionate about making a difference, consider running for a public office. Our democracy thrives when a diverse range of voices is present at all levels of government.


In conclusion, the essence of democracy lies in the active participation of its citizens. I urge each of you to raise your voice, ask tough questions, and get involved.


By doing so, we collectively ensure that our democratic system continues to flourish, is reflective of our community's needs, and remains responsive to changing times.


My question: How would you like me to connect with you as MLA?


I love hearing from you and read every email that you write.


Please write me at Renee.Merrifield.MLA@leg.bc.ca or call the office at 250-712-3620.


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