Letter From the CEO: Jan 2016

Jan 5, 2016, 10:21 AM by

Nobody to vote for this year. Yeah, that’s my fault.

This election cycle, we seem to have no candidates who 1) are exciting the public, 2) show true statesmanship and 3) are non-polarizing. I am talking about a real leader who we can all get behind and who gets us excited about their potential.

Full disclosure about my politics: I vote for both parties depending on the candidates' views. I don’t find that either party fully represents my views and morals, so I vote candidate by candidate. Unfortunately, what we have allowed to develop in our local and national governments is a political environment that is dangerously partisan while the actual good of the country takes a back seat.

Yes, that is my fault and yours. We seem to treat people who are politically involved the same way we treat evangelists in this country; we tend to hold them at an arm’s length as if being politically minded was some sort of mental aberration. We need to actually listen to and get to know these people and learn what they know, and then we need to vote according to our personal beliefs.

Besides being better informed, we need to hold our politicians accountable for their behavior. If you feel your elected officials are too extreme in their views, then you need to write to them or call their office. How many texts and emails do you send a day that are frivolous? Take the time to send one or two messages that actually count. This is where I am as guilty as many of you because I only sent one email last year to an elected official.

In the 2014 midterm election, a paltry 36.4% of eligible voters “turned out” for the election, and yet, many of us complain about the “stupidity” of our government. What is stupid is that we allowed 36% of us to make decisions for 100% of us.

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We also focus like a laser on the presidential election, while so often the real trouble comes from the House of Representatives and the Senate. Each election is of vital importance, and we need to take a couple of hours to familiarize ourselves with a candidate's views far beyond their commercials, which are regularly funded by special interest groups.

I know that my comments are trite and simplistic: “be informed,” “vote,” blah, blah, blah… We all know these lessons in the same manner we know smoking is bad for us, but here we are anyway.

I want you to consider something very important. This inaction and willingness to put up with nonsense at many levels of our government is setting our kids up for failure. Our generation is good at advocating for our kids and helicoptering them, but we are ignoring their future in this circumstance. Why? It's too big? It will be fine without my involvement? I am not able to make a difference? All of these are just excuses. We can waste all of our free time trying to keep up with what is going on at every level of government and that can be a trap, but please let's make an effort to do better.

Here are links for our Colorado representatives and below is some voter information from traditionally neutral sources. Use them to get informed, and use them to send quick emails when you have an opinion. Just a quick email to instruct your representative (they are your employees, after all) to vote this way or that way; it really does make a difference.

Colorado League of Women Voters: Generally a good place for basic political information, candidate contact info and details on ballot issues.

FactCheck.org: This nonprofit, nonpartisan website puts the truth front and center. Take some time to fact check your elected officials, and it'll be enlightening.

VoteSmart.org: Also a nonprofit, this nonpartisan website compiles information on candidates, including their backgrounds and stances on the issues.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. As always I am here to listen to any of your concerns about the Y, and I will try to make your experience better.


Thank You, 
Chris Coker 
CEO/President of YMCA of Boulder Valley