Commentary: From a campaign to a ‘constant movement’

Last week’s victory for Deval Patrick signaled the end of an amazing race. More than any other single campaign, Patrick’s has changed me by making me hopeful and excited about our ability as citizens to bring change more than ever before. His campaign reminded me just how strong a force for good politics can be, and how easily it can bring people together. Repeatedly, Patrick said his campaign had moved away from being a regular campaign. It was becoming a “movement for change.” This movement should continue as a constant campaign to be ever better citizens.

Here in Massachusetts there are a range of problems beginning with a crumbling state infrastructure, deteriorating public schools, and the lack of ability to provide all residents with public health care. As a result of changes in population, creating a better Commonwealth will require setting the right priorities and finding the right combination of taxes and spending cuts to solve those problems. We all have a stake in this discussion and need to be a part of it. Patrick understands that he needs our help in doing this by reminding all of us in his victory speech to, “keep this renewed sense of community alive; that you see your stake in each other every day; that you ask what you can do to make Massachusetts stronger and do it.”

As citizens, we can keep this campaign alive by staying connected to our leaders and representatives. When we see a problem that needs to be fixed or a concern that we have, we should reach out to our representatives. When we think there is a better solution to any one of the problems in our Commonwealth or our country, it is our responsibility to reach out to our leaders. This new campaign does not consume hours every day, but it continues to think about the best way to solve our common problems – and work together to solve them. This is a small and simple commitment, but a profound and important one as well.

As students at a well-known university, we can use our unique position and the power of this institution to make our future discussions heard. We can use our student groups and the ease of bringing people together on a college campus to make sure we are players in enacting change. If our student groups band together, be it in political groups or otherwise, our conversation will only become more meaningful and contribute to more action.

We must never forget our responsibility as citizens and as students to continue the campaign for our future and bring the change we deserve. What happened last Tuesday was just the beginning.

– Josh Robin is a sophomore political science major and president of the Northeastern Democrats.

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