All politics are local

September 30 2007

My head hurts.  No, not because I've spent some time this weekend working on Lotusphere 2008 content selection.  Nor because reconstruction has begun on the interstate highway that routes from here to Chicago (watch for more whining about the Chicago commuter rail system in the coming weeks).  No, it's because I decided to ask a few simple questions about a government project that would affect my community, and was originally supposed to be done several years ago.

I'm not going to go into too many details, yet, because I haven't really sorted out everything that I have heard, read, and learned over the last three days.  The challenge of trying to figure out how to get involved has turned out to not be as simple as "what can I do to help?"  It's not that simple because, in what will likely turn out to be an incredible lesson in real-world politics, I can't simply approach this issue with my business-minded problem-solving hat on.  It's about personalities, agendas, commitments, transitions, history, more personalities, and a complete and utter lack of commitment to "promises made, promises kept".

My minor area of study during my college days was political science.  I've always found the discipline of that study to be a somewhat-useful matrix of lessons in approaching my professional life.  For once, that will be true in my personal life as well.

Over the coming days and weeks, I need to make some basic decisions on how involved to get in a particular effort.  I don't know much about activism and grass-roots in the "real world", but I would say that all this social networking stuff and community that Lotus has been about for many years has some real applicability.  If I go forward, I'll spin off a separate blog to document this journey.  It could be really interesting.  It could be really frustrating.  It could bring a sense of accomplishment.

In the meantime, if you're one of the close-to-my-home readers, let me know offline.

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