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Now What? Life After the 2016 Elections

Don’t book a one stop flight to Canada just yet!

Now that we have somewhat come to terms with the new President-elect, hopefully we can set our shock down for a while and work on what is next. This is not the end everyone. Do you remember that change that President Obama talked about? This is it.

Change does not come when there is no one to take a stand against. Change comes when the natural order of things has been violently disturbed. We have to be that change people and it all starts with getting involved.

Do you know who your elected officials are? What district you live in and who represents it? Are you aware that in 2017 Atlanta will be electing a new Mayor? How often are Neighborhood Planning meetings held and are you truly getting a say so in the beautification of your neighborhood? There are so many questions that go beyond the Presidential elections that many of us cannot answer, but when there is a will there is a way.

I mean, just take it from Kid President…he really knows his stuff.

If you wanted to run for Congress many of the upperclassmen and graduate students at Georgia State could do so because you only have to be 25 years old! Yes, you read that correctly. In 2014 the United States set the minimum age to run for Congress at 25. This is something that so many people could take advantage of, especially millennials. We have so many bright ideas and so many opinions that a change could literally spark overnight.

Though the process is tedious, it is doable.

There are so many ways to get involved in the change that we so adamantly complain about. Think about attending a Neighborhood Planning Unit meeting, but first figure out which zone you live in. In Atlanta we are divided into 25 NPU’s citywide where decisions are made on issues such as zoning and who gets to use what land. If you do not think that is important, then think again. When the wrong companies get their hands on land in your community, the dynamics of that entire neighborhood could change the culture. That alone is an issue because every community functions differently.

Let’s take a look at Georgia State for example. Are you involved in an organization that could help make your community better? Student Government, Student Alumni Association, National Council for Negro Women, NAACP, and Greek Lettered Organizations are all great options! Many of these organizations focus on bettering the minds of young adults while developing feasible leaders in the process. Look into some if you have not and decide on what works best for you. There is no use in complaining about the state of your country if you do not hit the ground to fix it firsthand.

Another great place to start is by researching the Mayoral candidates for Atlanta’s 2017 election year. I believe that many of us forget that change starts from the ground up. Get to know who they are, their background, the policies they will be implementing and overall where they are trying to take our city in the coming years. This is important stuff to know!

In Atlanta, there are other organizations and companies that are avidly working to turn things around. Collective effort in such a fast-paced city like Atlanta is only adding to the solutions we need.

If you have never heard of Ignite College Council or the Center for Civic Innovation look them up! Both of these organizations are working day in and day out to educate, inform, network and essentially train the community and future leaders on politics and solving social issues with lasting effects. There are many other organizations in the city that I encourage you to find, but the goal here is to be a part of something amazing.
Are you feeling motivated yet? If so, get up and make something happen! I must admit, the news of the election results was disappointing but if anything it should have motivated you. Now you should feel inspired to look into policies, forthcoming bills, dissecting that confusing amendment language and overall being positive to know that this is only the beginning.

Let’s remain positive in correcting this people, this is not the end.


Cydney Maria (Rhines) is a creative writer, journalist and photographer located in Atlanta, Ga. She is currently a student at Georgia State University studying journalism and english. She coins her brand as something curated beautifully for those who may not feel that beauty. Her main focus is mental health, social issues, digital design and of course the beauty of black girl magic. Her main goal is to constantly write creative content that fills a need. She is currently published accross multiple platforms and looks to continue her current level of work after she graduates from GSU. Check this creative out!
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