The commitment to being an engaged citizen is a commitment to being an engaged leader.
When you make the choice to invest your energy into staying informed about social and political issues, you are investing in your leadership.
I’m hearing more and more from leaders who are prioritizing leading with justice, equity, and community care in mind. So if the kind of leader you truly want to be means being an engaged citizen, one who is informed about the social and political issues facing the people they lead, you’re in good company.
But in today’s deeply polarized culture, that’s hard work.
It can feel like resting in the midst of that work is like tapping out of the biggest fight of your life.
But being an engaged citizen requires rest. Rest is not tapping out.
Without rest, you won’t have the energy to question the people & institutions in power. You won’t have the capacity to extend care to those who are often forgotten or underestimated.
Here is a hard truth - many are counting on your fatigue and disconnection. People are literally counting on you not caring.
So what can we do in our circles of influence to encourage others to join us in paying attention? How can we do our parts in leading an engaged citizenry?
Representative Jennifer Konfrst (HD 43) is starting her second term in the Iowa House of Representatives serving residents of Windsor Heights, Clive, and West Des Moines. She was selected by her caucus to serve as Democratic Whip. Rep. Konfrst is an associate professor in Drake University’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication and has worked in media and communications roles throughout her career.