Democracy in action

5/12/2017, 7:40 a.m.

Democracy: A government of, by and for the people.

It’s one of the core principles upon which this nation is built.

It’s what separates us, the United States, from places like Russia, China, North Korea and Saudi Arabia, to name a few.

We believe in the power of our voice and our vote, both of which are guaranteed and protected under the U.S. Constitution.

Now is the time to use that power — to tell your local, state and federal representatives what you think and what you want.

GOP Congressman Dave Brat, who represents parts of Richmond, Henrico, Hanover and Chesterfield in the 7th District, learned about that power Tuesday night when he was met by a crowd of boisterous constituents at his town hall meeting in Midlothian. They wanted to know why he voted to repeal and replace Obamacare and why he believes it doesn’t matter whether President Trump releases his tax returns.

Congressman Brat was voted into office by the people of the 7th District. Now he must listen to those he represents.

In Richmond, the School Board is holding a series of public forums for feedback on what the community wants in the next schools superintendent.

Thousands of families have children who attend Richmond Public Schools. And all who live and/or work in the city pay taxes, which go to support the schools.

What does our school system need — what do our children need — from the next person in the top leadership role? What commitment do we want to see to our children and our schools? What issues must he or she be equipped and prepared to address? What are our expectations for the person who will help guide and propel our children toward the future?

While you may contact School Board members at any time to express your opinion, the current series of forums are an open invitation to express your views. We hope our community will take advantage of this opportunity.

We also urge voters to prepare to go to the polls on Tuesday, June 13, to cast ballots in the primary elections for local constitutional officers, including city sheriff and treasurer, and for state office seekers, including candidates seeking the Democratic and Republican nominations for governor and lieutenant governor.

Candidates have been appearing at forums around the city and the state, and have been on radio call-in programs. More are scheduled.

Attend. Tune in. Call in. Listen. Engage.

Our voice — and our vote — are our power. Use it.