The Natchitoches Chamber of Commerce hosted an informative presentation on the ins and outs of running for office on the local level Thursday, July 18. Chamber president Laura Lyles emceed the event introducing the speakers and giving a brief statement on why the Chamber of Commerce has traditionally taken an interest in the local political scene. The chamber, in her words, supports “positions, not people” and does not endorse individual candidates. The chamber does support policies that aid in the growth and economic development of our community. The chamber supports civic engagement, people taking action to make their community a better place. Good people running for offices at every level of government is an integral part of civic engagement.
Natchitoches resident, past Chamber of Commerce president, and BESE Board District 4 Representative, Tony Davis, then spoke about the experience of campaigning for office. Natchitoches Parish Clerk of Court told the audience about some of the nuts and bolts of running for office such as filing fees and requirements, deadlines and the overall process. All too many elections pass by with abysmally low rates of voter turnout. All too many races are decided by default as no one steps up to challenge an incumbent. The key to a better Natchitoches stares back at us every morning in the bathroom mirror. Don’t complain, do something!