I’m not from Brookline. I’m going to get that out in the open now. I’m proud to be from Ridgefield, Connecticut. You may have seen my congressman, Jim Himes, and my senator, Chris Murphy, in the news this week because of their leadership for more gun control. Congressman Himes protested the moment of silence for the victims of the attack in Orlando. Senator Murphy led a nearly 15-hour filibuster for more restrictions on firearms.
It’s a lot easier to keep up-to-date with a community you’ve lived in for a long time. I was tuned into the frequency of Ridgefield. I knew the driving shortcuts, the leaders in office, the shops that have been around awhile and those that are new. I knew the school budget dilemmas, where the “old high school” is, and when school lets out for the summer. The culture, traditions, and issues of the town seemed like second nature.
Then I went to Boston College, where I studied Political Science. Go Eagles! I loved going into Boston, and as a PoliSci major, I was excited about the historical and activist culture of the city. I was eager to live in the Boston area as a graduate.
My first two years living in Brookline, I was too wrapped up in my everyday life to be an active community member. My days, like many young professionals, were spent working, relaxing with my boyfriend and roommates, frequenting the same stores, and going into Boston on the weekends.
I could’ve been living anywhere and had this routine. I was comfortable, but my life was definitely lacking something.
It was lacking community. I wasn’t part of the town dialogue, and so, I wasn’t living my values of civic engagement.
As a recent grad, and relative newbie to the town, joining the community feels daunting. Yet I’m really intrigued by this idea. I want to tune into Brookline, and to contribute meaningfully to the town.
To get started, I’ve adopted a simple rule of thumb. Just as I keep up with my friends, families, and celebrities on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat, I’m going to follow Brookline and Boston on social media.
Check out my new Twitter handle, @simplycivics, and Instagram, simply_civics, to see the groups I’ve started following. There are so many active Brookline and Boston social media news sources, and a plethora of organizations and establishments contributing in meaningful ways. Shout out to @thecoolidge, @artsbrookline, @brklib, @brooklinehub, @TownofBrookline, @BostonDotCom, among many others.
This is something we all can do, across all locales. Just search your town or city on your favorite social media platforms and follow the accounts you’re interested in.
I’ve already learned a ton about what’s going on in the area, and it’s been just a couple of days. For example, today is the Brookline Farmer’s Market!
Another simple step I’ve taken recently is to sign up for the Brookline TAB newsletter. Each morning, I wake up to an email from the TAB with all the biggest headlines in the area. I highly recommend it for all Brookliners. Here’s the link to sign up.
I’ll keep posting updates throughout my civic adventure, so please hit subscribe and be in touch! All suggestions, especially organizations to follow and events to attend, are greatly appreciated.
If being an active community member entails being informed, I’m on my way.