Several weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend our local Republican precinct caucus. I was disappointed at the turnout because I have heard so much on the news about how much the Republicans are fired up about the upcoming election. In our small group of five, I was elected to serve as the precinct captain and subsequently my wife and I were selected to serve as delegates to our County and State Assembly.
A couple of weeks later, I attended the County Assembly. When the County Chairman called for nominations for the six (unopposed) County offices from the floor, there was a period of silence among the crowd of more than 400 delegates, alternates, and other observers. I was moved to raise my hand and speak my piece. I said a lot in a few minutes, but the gist of my comments was this: we cannot let the liberal progressive Democrats run without opposition no matter how slight our chances may be to be elected, and we cannot continue to have one-Party government in Boulder County, Colorado. We must stand up and be heard and make them do the same to defend their political policies and practices.
The crowd cheered and was energized by my comments, and I was promptly nominated to run for the office of Boulder County Assessor…a position about which I already knew something. Having painted myself into a corner, I accepted the nomination and have been working long hours campaigning since that time. I believe there are many things that need to be done to improve the customer-service orientation of that office as well to provide some balance to a government that has long been almost exclusively “owned” by Democrats.
The point is this: no matter what our current personal circumstances are, some of us need to stand up for what we believe and step up to the challenge to make a difference in our society no matter what the level of government–city, county, state, or national.
Why me? I have retired three times and was perfectly happy with my life as it was. I retired from the U.S. Air Force as a Lieutenant Colonel after more than 20 years of service to my country. I am a Disabled American Veteran as a result of my service in Vietnam. Second, I retired from business after serving more than 20 years as a small business owner and as the president of several small companies. And third, I am a retired university professor after having served more then 17 years as a professor of business and management at several universities. I am now 70 years old and do not need a job; I do not need the money; and I do not need the hassle. Nevertheless, I feel compelled to step up once again to serve my country, this time at the county level. If and when elected, I will serve with distinction as I always have and retire a fourth time in four years. I will not seek re-election. I need some more time with my wife and family.
I also believe that one of our nation’s greatest underused resources is our older generations, many of whom have retired from productive jobs and are now living comfortable lives in retirement. But, if there was ever a time in the history of our nation when we cannot let this resource go unused or underused, it is now that those of us who have the time, energy, and motivation to make a difference must step up to the challenges facing our country at all levels.
Don’t just think about it, DO IT! There is still time to throw your hat in the ring and serve our nation at whatever level is appropriate for you!
Joel T. Champion, Ph.D.
Candidate for Boulder County Assessor in 2010
Boulder County, Colorado