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July 11, 2020
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A Meaningful Conversation

Published June 17, 2020

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During this time, the health crisis has drawn our attention to pertinent matters, such as our safety and health. The Town of Madison offices were closed, and public schooling was done online. As a graduating senior, I had to complete my Civics Action Plan, which I decided was on the Academy School. Even though progress of discourse and action have been halted, I wanted to gather my own information to give the residents a check-in. But during this whole process, I learned a bigger lesson: how to become an active member of the community.

I was already interested in the topic when former first selectman Tom Banisch visited the Young Republican’s Club that I ran with two other high schoolers. The thought of the former school generating revenue for the town was enticing, but the GreatBlue survey done by the town pointed toward another direction. I wondered how the town would go ahead and act on planning out a new community center. I was lucky enough to have a phone conversation with Selectman Bruce Wilson, a conversation that was very eye-opening to my perception of local government and politics.

I believe change in your own community is crucial and can be achieved through active interaction. As an 18 year old and future taxpayer, I believe it’s paramount that what goes on in our community is sourced by the will of the governed. I see many today are disillusioned from politics from what they see of federal politics and the media, but anyone, of any age, background, or mindset, can create change.

I’m extremely grateful to be able to live in such a charming and quaint town. To be able to reach out to my local officials and have a meaningful conversation brings hope to what we can do in the future.

Daniel J. Zsebik