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Can You Afford NOT to Count?

Posted By Administration, Monday, November 17, 2014

Your Voice and Vote CAN Make A Difference

By Brian Bowles, MAOPS Executive Director


Do you ever feel like you have no say in the political process? That no matter what you do, politicians will ignore you? If so, I think you join a majority of Americans. This is evident in U.S. News report that shows that only 32.3 percent of eligible voters showed up at the polls in our recent November election. In 2010 that number was 45.7 percent!

But do we truly NOT have a voice? Are we truly not heard? I am involved with this process every day and can say with certainty that the reason you are not heard is because you don’t speak up! I have seen legislators with no opinion on an issue develop a strong one with the help of physician members participating in MAOPS D.O.c.-A-Day program. I have been called by legislators seeking information on an issue, because they know we represent many of their constituents. And most importantly, I have seen our members realize they can make a difference if they make the choice to actively engage in advocacy.

So, how do you make sure YOU count?

  • Vote – If you don’t cast a ballot, you’re giving away a right that many have fought and died for us to have. MAOPS can’t tell you how to vote, but we can provide you with information to help you make an informed decision. Just check out our 2014 Legislative Scorecard!
  • Advocate – Contact your legislators and ask them their opinion on issues that matter to you the most. If they don’t have an opinion, inform them so they can develop one. I would venture to say it is even more important for you to do this if the person in office is not the one you voted for. MAOPS has two grassroots programs to assist you in advocating for yourself – D.O.c.-A-Day and MoGOAL. D.O.c.-A-Day fosters face-to-face interaction with your legislators with the help of MAOPS staff. MoGOAL is an online tool allowing you to contact your legislators quickly and easily via email. Use these resources to do your part!
  • Support – No one likes giving money to politicians. But, if we get good ones in office that support our beliefs, we want to keep them there. Consider a donation to those candidates who share your ideals. MOPAC allows you to support candidates who support medicine. Consider making an annual donation to help keep the program strong.
  • Participate – The larger the coalition, the greater the impact. Individuals can make a difference, but organizations like MAOPS best serve their members because we can claim to represent close to 3,000 osteopathic physicians and students in the state of Missouri. One of the best ways to ensure that you count is to join organizations like MAOPS that share your ideals and vision. Your dues support the efforts of these organizations and help them build a unified voice.

So, while we often get frustrated with our politicians and the decisions they make, and while we can never be certain that we have voted for the best person to represent us, one certainty is that in order to count, you have to make a conscious decision to do so. If you want to not count, then don’t do anything. This is your choice. However, if you choose not to count, then you can’t complain when those elected by people who chose to count do things you disagree with.

MAOPS offers you many ways to help ensure that you count. Use them!

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