It’s that time of year again.
Local school boards and city councils are convening for the first meeting of the year.
The 2021 Minnesota legislative session began Jan. 5. The 117th U.S. Congress is in full swing. And we should expect a peaceful transfer of power in the White House on Jan. 20.
Elected officials are taking their oath of office. Leadership positions are being filled. Committee assignments are being made.
Some fresh perspectives have been brought in. Some institutional memory held firm.
Now, it’s time to get work done, and there is much work to do.
Businesses are hurting. Families are struggling. Healthcare providers are overwhelmed. Educators are navigating ever-changing conditions. Non-profits are coming up short on much-needed funds.
Everyone who is sworn into office was elected to represent some voice, but the reality is our communities are comprised of many voices with legitimate concerns and values. No single perspective or political party has all the answers all the time. The key is listening, finding common ground and –when no common ground can be found – compromising so all sides give a little in good faith while making strides for their constituents.
Unfortunately, compromise has become a foul word and stalemate has become the norm.
But, all or nothing gets us nothing. The job is compromise. It has always been compromise, dating back to the founding of our country. It may not be easy, but doing nothing can no longer be the answer.
Do your job. For everyone.