How do we define open access?
The ever present use of social media and the ability to self- report the ground breaking as well as the mundane has caused me to ponder these tools a bit. I am grouped into the millennial age group, albeit on the older side. I have recognized my generation’s preference on certain things alters our expectations. This age group around the globe seems to be less and less interested with ownership of things, or with developing status through accumulating material goods and more the access to them. Think of Über and Airbnb instead of buying a car or house. So too, my age group seems to enjoy dabbling in multiple jobs, rather than focusing on life-long careers in one profession or another.
So, if we applied the same principle to politics, what would that look like?
For my parents, it is important to have access to their elected officials on a city and county level. For them this means attending meetings in the evening and if need be, catching a moment with decision makers at the local watering hole or breakfast spot. EVERY small town has a local hangout where the older men sit and discuss the events of the day over biscuits and coffee. Where you will find a good biscuit in a Southern town, so shall you find folks sitting in clusters discussing the way things “should be”. My parents’ generation’s expectation of access was determined more by their own efforts, namey because there existed no other options.
Yet as we see so many of the long-held seats being vacated by members retiring, I wonder aloud what the future will bring. Many of the old guard’s replacements are closer in age to me, if not even younger! So what shall these young guns bring? Perhaps more of the same status quo, with little transparency, the same glacial pace of addressing actual challenges faced by Southerners, and little actual informed engagement of the voters…or maybe not.
I remain more optimistic because our options have changed. Continue reading “How Do We Define Open Access?”