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Columbia Missourian

FROM READERS: 'The American democracy is the best hope that we have'

By HOMER PAGE/MISSOURIAN READER
September 24, 2012 | 9:00 a.m. CDT
Homer Page is the chairman of the Boone County Democratic Central Committee. His first political memory is of the 1948 presidential election.

Some mid-Missourians say they feel like being involved in politics is critically important. To find out what drives them, we're asking people about their political motivation and involvement. We will be periodically posting responses in our From Readers section.

Can you help round out the picture? Scroll to the bottom to find out how to add your voice.

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Here's the first response in the series. It's from Homer Page, chairman of the Boone County Democratic Central Committee.

I grew up in Lincoln County, Missouri. My first political memory is of the 1948 presidential election. My family sat around the radio in our farmhouse and listened to the returns. We supported Harry Truman. It was a long night, and my parents made me go to bed before the election results were final. I was 7 years old.

Over the years, as I grew up, I followed the news and developed a life-long interest in public affairs. I believe now, as I did then, that in order to be a good American citizen, one must be engaged in the political democracy that is the best part of our national heritage.

I came to the University of Missouri in the early '60s and became involved in the civil rights movement in Columbia. My generation believed that we could change our country and make the dream of equality for all come true through direct action in the political process. Although there are still flaws in the realization of the dream, we were largely right. No one who was there would want to go back to those days.

As I grew into adulthood, I became more involved in the political process. I took leadership roles in local, state and national campaigns. I ran for office serving two terms as a City Council member in Boulder, Colo., and two terms as a Boulder County Commissioner. In the last several years, I have gotten involved in Boone County Democratic Party politics, and in August 2012, I was chosen to chair the Boone County Democratic Central Committee. I have been involved in every presidential campaign since 1964, and I believe this one is the most crucial of any in my lifetime.

More than any of the others, this campaign is about what it means to be an American. It is about the opportunity of each American to live a secure and fulfilled life, not for a few to become extravagantly wealthy. It is about investing in education and infrastructure, the protection of our environment and the health care of all our citizens. It is about the protection of the voting rights, and the reproduction rights, and the securing of the rights of our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters. Once again, as in the days of the Civil Rights movement, the question before us is: Can we use the tools of the public forum to shape a more just and fair nation, in which all our people are valued?

I am involved in the political process, because I still believe that the American democracy is the best hope that we have for creating a world where our grandchildren can live with opportunity, joy and the dignity that comes with pride in one's homeland.

We want to hear what you have to say. Please send us your motivations for being politically involved by filling out the form below or emailing us your response to submissions@ColumbiaMissourian.com. We're looking for a diverse set of answers — long or short, broad or specific — from people of all political persuasions. If there's someone you'd like to hear from, let us know or forward the invitation along.

This story is part of a section of the Missourian called From Readers, which is dedicated to your voices and your stories. We hope you'll consider sharing. Here's how. Supervising Editor Joy Mayer.