Gene Robertson

GENE ROBERTSON: Citizens must participate in policy decision-making process

We, as citizens, need to take a more active role in government, in order to make our voices heard and have a hand in political decision making.

GENE ROBERTSON: 'Battle' an important film for Columbia

The documentary on Eliot Battle's life and work shows his "change from within" philosophy that takes discipline and patience.

GENE ROBERTSON: Recognizing attachment to place is important

Place provides roots, predictability, relationships, nourishment and meaning for life.

GENE ROBERTSON: We should honor King's legacy by supporting his principles

The best way to honor Martin Luther King Jr. is not just taking part in events but supporting his principles as well.

GENE ROBERTSON: Living icons provide inspiration for everyone

Living icons such as Oprah Winfrey, Nelson Mandela and Harry Belafonte are no greater than anyone else. They experience successes and failures, but they have set big resolutions for their lives and are prepared to conquer them — something we can all learn from.

GENE ROBERTSON: Accountability more important than secrecy in hiring UM System president

The secret nature of the presidential search process is unacceptable. Our governor, curators and chancellor owe it to students, taxpayers and faculty to be transparent.

GENE ROBERTSON: Protecting the vulnerable is our responsibility

People designated as potential collateral damage, such as veterans and prisoners, are among the vulnerable. These groups are often ignored and misused by prominent individuals, and it's our responsibility to protect the vulnerable.

GENE ROBERTSON: List of suggested demands for Occupy Wall Street

There needs to be a specific call to regulation and accountability of manipulative financial institutions along with an increase in education and foreclosure reform, and unemployment protection and insurance.

GENE ROBERTSON: City Council meeting illustrates democracy in action

The council's most recent meeting was a great display of Columbia's potential for an engaged citizenry.

GENE ROBERTSON: Foolish spending, predatory lending trap too many of us

Unsavory lending, borrowing and banking practices push vulnerable people further and further into debt. More protective policies and stronger truth-in-lending laws could help limit this, but perpetrators of such practices should be held accountable.

GENE ROBERTSON: Obama, IBM may share inability to keep promises

Columbia residents should keep a close eye on what the president and the computer company that opened a service center in town last year promise to do for them.

GENE ROBERTSON: Managing the personal character survival kit

The best tools in our survival kit aren't Band-Aids or gauze.

LETTER: Citizens Police Review Board needs new process

The board's process is dramatically flawed because the police chief is the final arbiter. To fix this problem, theColumbia City Council  should receive recommendations from the board.

GENE ROBERTSON: Community planning shouldn't be a waste of time

Citizen participation should be employed as a valued resource, not a facade of community involvement.

GENE ROBERTSON: New Columbia public officals face many challenges

Communication, setting short-term and long-term goals, and utilizing resources will help new officials serve constituents fairly.

GENE ROBERTSON: Considering two black presidential candidates

Had the far right not influenced the Republican Party against Colin Powell's potential candidacy, the U.S. might have had a 2012 presidential race between two capable black men.

GENE ROBERTSON: Women should be celebrated year-round

We must remind ourselves that there would be no need for special months if we had not made distinctions in how we regarded and treated people.

GENE ROBERTSON: A plan for earthquakes needs to be developed on local, county and state levels

Public and private institutions should be concerned about a lack of plans in the event an earthquake hits Columbia.

GENE ROBERTSON: Columbia moves slowly in embracing African-Americans

Black History Month is a time for reflection and action. The needs of the black community must be addressed within the context of the larger Columbia community.

GENE ROBERTSON: Developing strategy, planning for action help achieve resolutions

Any strategy for improvement must be imbued with rigorous, proactive thought, planning and action. A calendar is a useful resource.