Like many Americans, I want to make a valuable difference in my community, but it can seem overwhelming and hopeless. How much of a difference could I, a single person, really make? For example, there’s this pothole on my street that hasn’t been fixed yet. I run over it at least once every week and so do many of my neighbors. Every day that hole doesn’t get fixed is another nail in the coffin of my faith in our government, but what exactly am I supposed to do about it? These matters are forever intertwined with unaccountable institutions and corrupt officials, like Mario the pothole repair guy.
I am not the only one who feels this way. In fact, according to a recent survey conducted by me, 120 percent of my neighbors are “fed up with the fat cats in city hall, hoarding all of our pothole repair supplies for their greedy little selves while they drive their new Bugattis over our dignity on the way to their golf courses and private schools on perfectly smooth roads.” Yes, that was how I phrased the question.
Using this newly gathered data, I did the only thing I could think to do. Write a letter to my city councilman, the most powerful person I know, Ernesto Wilkerson. It was signed by all the people in my neighborhood, except in my handwriting for some reason, and even then it took weeks to get any sort of response. I did eventually get one in the form of a Hallmark card that said “Oopsie daisy, I am actually not even remotely sorry and I’m glad the roads don’t work.” And that was just the outside. I didn’t even know they made cards like that.
The inside was even more offensive. It was a message that said, “Dear Ms. Pelosi,” and then “NO” in a cartoonishly large rubber stamp.
Everyone I know has a story like this, sometimes many. The truth is that there is no apparent way for regular working mothers such as myself, my nextdoor neighbor Karen, or the Karen on the other side of the street to make a difference in this cold world.
Don’t even get me started on my career. I’m stuck in the same terrible job I had 10 years ago. It’s just going to a bunch of pointless meetings about whatever and nobody cares.