5 Ways To #RiseUp Roswell
By Tai Anderson, February 5, 2017
It's Super Bowl Sunday, and I'm anxiously awaiting the GridIron Action as the Atlanta Falcons contend for their first Super Bowl win. I've been a Falcons fan my whole life, which is to say I've known great heartbreak. However, this year presents an opportunity for total redemption! (San Fransisco Who?)
Now, before you call me out as a "fairweather fan," my social media record has documented my long-time support. Additionally, because of the generosity of a great family friend, I've actually attended every home game except one this season. So, I feel thoroughly invested. That's a whole lot of time on Marta to and from the Georgia Dome. My fan credentials are bona fide.
In fact, over the last few years, I've become such a big fan that I've started saying, "Rise Up" in the same way that Alabama fans say, "Roll Tide." It works as a greeting, a goodbye, an encouragement to my kids, and even a healthy substitute for "Amen" for the faith-inclined.
Over the last two weeks, I've seen Atlanta unite like I've never before witnessed. The entire city and suburbs have Falcons' fever. It feels like this just might be our time, and the city is buzzing. That enthusiasm doesn't stop at I-285 but extends throughout the entire state. If you see someone wearing Falcons' gear, they're no longer a stranger, they are part of what Coach Dan Quinn has dubbed "the brotherhood." The result; Thousands of conversations and enhanced friendships all around the common ground of our beloved "Dirty Birds."
If you've ever read one of my blogs before, you'll notice that a desire for unity is a consistent theme. I love the way our Roswell Hornets model that on the football field, and the incredible results it yields. I am pained by political divisions, and I strive to be a voice for racial reconciliation. Following the contentious national election, a murder of one of our high school students, a City Councilman removed because of a sexual scandal, and the heartbreaking overtime losses of the Roswell Hornets and Fellowship Paladins, It's felt like Roswell has been a bit down. We've been just a bit divided. Friends, neighbors, it is time to embrace brotherhood. It's time to RISE UP!
5 Ways You Can Help Roswell Rise Up
1. Become informed about the candidates running in the upcoming special election.
Even though national news continues to dominate the watercooler conversations with what we all would agree is an "unconventional" President, local politics actually have an incredibly significant role in our lives. This is where we carve out new parks, support our local fire department and police, ensure sensible development, and work to preserve our collective history.
The sad thing is, most of us don't vote in local elections, especially when they don't fall on national elections. This is normally when people encourage you to vote. I'm not going to do that yet. (That's step 3) Instead, I want to encourage you to get to know the candidates that are running for office. As of the January 27th deadline, there are five qualifying candidates: Shawn Wright, Lori Henry, Tracy Hanley, Marie Willsey and Shelley Sears. Over the coming weeks, I plan on doing podcasts with several if not all of the candidates. Let's get to know who they are, what their visions are for Roswell, and determine who has the character to help lead our city into the future.
5 Candidates qualified to run. Let's determine who is best qualified to lead!
2. Spread the word.
When you've found a candidate you like, spread the word. Put a sign in your yard. Encourage your neighbors to vote. Get involved. Get active. Plug-In. There will be several "meet the candidate" events coming up in the next few weeks. Come out, and bring a few friends. Amplify your voice!
3. Vote in the March 21st special election.
Once you have a feel for the best candidate to serve our citizenry, take the time to vote. Regardless of how you vote in national elections, you've probably often felt that your vote is insignificant; that it doesn't really sway election results one way or another. That is not the case in local elections. Your vote in the upcoming elections has tremendous impact and could be the difference maker. It's also a great opportunity to model civic engagement to your kids.
4. Attend a City Hall meeting and learn about the issues.
You just might be surprised at how important your voice is if you do. Our City Councilmen and Councilwoman, by and large, want to hear from you. They are responsive to your wants and needs. They want Roswell to continue to be an awesome place to live, work, and play. Hey, there's no more Monday Night Football for a while. So, it's a good opportunity to get plugged in to what is happening in our city. You just might have the perspective our city needs to move in the best direction possible.
There are incredible opportunities to get plugged in right here in Roswell. Whether it is at your children's schools, The CDA, Star House, North Fulton Charities, or The Foster Care Support Foundation, your impact makes a difference. Also, don't discount the positive impact you can have on stepping up to coach a sports team in our community. We are always looking for great coaches at the RYFCA. You don't have to know a ton about football. You just need to be a good person who loves our community. You just might be the next Dan Quinn.
So, there you have it. There are 5 ways you can have a significant impact right in our hometown. I'm putting my money where my mouth is, or at least my time, in 2017. I'm committing to being a better-engaged citizen right here in Roswell. Will you join me? The countdown to the Super Bowl is on. We're just hours away. Join with me and help Roswell #RiseUp regardless of the outcome of today's game. If you do, we'll all be winners, no matter what.