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From my Political Science class, Fall Freshman year of College:
The ability to vote is an overwhelming power. If used, a community can be extremely successful. On the other hand, the power can destroy a community if ignored. More often than not, however, the latter occurs. In these cases, the most harmful event can happen, the loss of hope. The people of the community can feel there is nothing better but this is untrue. Voting can bring upon a brighter tomorrow.
Lexington, Massachusetts is an excellent example of democracy in the United States. The population consists of upper-middle class. A large portion of the people vote, and there is high participation in town government. These two factors that were brought out in the film showed that active involvement in the community can get the peole what they want. For example, the people did not want Continental Airlines to run an air taxi service from a local airport. They petitioned government officials, formed their own activist groups and highered lawyers to look into the legal aspect of the situation. The townspeople got their wish because of the interaction of the community and the government.
The twenty-fourth ward of Chicago is an example of the system working against the people. It is the complete opposite of the situation in Lexington. The population is mostly lower class individuals who do not vote. The average education is, at its highest, highschool. The people there feel that they have been taken advantage of and their only solution is to move out. Some organizations are trying desperately to register more voters to increase the turnout at the polls. However, the amount of voters is still low. The residents have fallen into a cycle where they don't want to vote then their ideas are ignored so they don't want to vote then their ideas are ignored so they don't want to vote.
This cycle can be ended if the residents of the twentieth-fourth ward in Chicago look to the people of Lexington as their inspiration. If the schools teach the importance of voting at a younger age, more people may vote. It is proven that the higher the educational level of the area, the more likely the people are to vote. Another idea for the residents of Chicago is to form more activist groups. If the people pull together, they would more likely to be heard then a few scattered individuals. This can be seen in areas of the south where some towns don't even have water or trash disposal. The townspeople came together and petitioned the neighboring city to annex them to provide the necessary conditions for life.
The power of the people is strong. If they stand united, almost anything can be accomplished. If people are divided then they cannot be heard or even seen. The invisibility of individuals is not the worst part of these types of situations. It is the absence of hope that can stop the advancement of a community.
EDITOR's NOTE: Apparently, I was bad at spelling.