I have the privilege of speaking with business owners on a daily basis as well as residents of Spring Hill. A common theme that pops up in our conversations is opportunity, it is one of the reasons that many people move here and also why business owners open their doors here. Our city is a place that is recognized by many as place for opportunity. Whether it’s the opportunity to raise a family in an area of high quality of life or to open a business that serves the community’s needs while giving purpose to the business owner.
Our recent city election has shown that there is still an opportunity in our city for civic engagement. The voter participation rate was 5.67%, or 1,545 voters out of a possible 27,271. While voter participation is low across the country, local elections offer the most opportunity for voter impact and should gross higher turnout. Many reasons have been shared via social media as to why the turnout was low but it in the end it shows that this was a missed opportunity for our residents to make an impact in their own backyard. However, the recent election also shows that our city gives new residents the opportunity to become leaders in our community, which isn’t always the norm. Several of the winning candidates in this election and past elections are new residents ready and willing to give their talents to the city they call home. I understand not everyone is able to commit to being an Alderman, but what about volunteering on a city committee, attending city meetings, voicing your concerns to city leadership, or staying current on local issues and encouraging your neighbors to do the same (follow us on FB @SpringHillChamberTN for an easy way to stay in the loop)? Civic engagement takes effort. I understand that we are all busy and pulled in multiple directions but if we don’t put forth the effort then the future of our city will be decided by a few instead of the majority that is impacted the most.
Looking for more ways to engage and become more active in your community?
1. The City of Spring Hill is hosting a community input meeting on Thursday, April 25th at 6:30pm at the UAW Hall. This is a great opportunity to participate in the city’s branding initiative to develop Spring Hill’s story. You can also complete a survey online at www.springhilltn.org.
2. Check out our local nonprofit members at www.experiencespringhill.com/organizations and discover even more ways to get involved in your community.
3. Don’t forget the value in getting to know your neighbors and staying active in your HOA and local schools.
Why would your local Chamber show such strong interest in civic engagement? Our core purpose is to serve our local business community by helping our members thrive while being a connector and trusted resource to the Spring Hill community. We understand that the success of our local commerce hinges on the support from residents in a healthy community. Therefore, we want everyone that lives here to truly feel like they have a place at the table and empowered to have a voice. The higher the inclusive civic engagement the greater the civic pride and responsibility which then leads to sustained community well-being (www.nationalcivicleague.org). Just like John F. Kennedy said years ago, “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country”. Let’s all do our part since together we make a better Spring Hill!
- Rebecca Melton, Executive Director, Spring Hill Chamber of Commerce