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Don’t let this opportunity go

If only St. Clair County had Elsa and Anna on the payroll. The “Frozen” duo drew nearly 300 people to a sing-a-long at Belleville East this weekend – more than triple the 80 people who have filled out a survey for the county about how to spend Community Development Block Grant money. And that number is after seven public hearings and a news article in the BND that gave the address for an online questionnaire.

Sadly, it’s common for celebrity to eclipse the day-to-day business of government. People routinely keep up with the Kardashians and other pop culture figures but often can’t name their senators or representatives.

You’d think taxpayers would want a say in how the millions of federal dollars of CDBG money should be spent. Maybe the apathy about this topic is similar to why many people don’t vote: a lot of people say they don’t think their voice matters. Well, when people don’t participate in government, they are guaranteeing that their opinions don’t count. It means that other people will decide important issues for them such as how CDBG funds are allocated.

There’s still time to participate in the survey. The online address is: http://www.co.st-clair.il.us/ (click on “IGD consolidated plan surveys.”) The survey will also be available at six public hearings this month. Elsa and Anna won’t be there, but the hearings are worth attending anyway to have a say in how our government sets its priorities.

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