May 14, 2011

Interact with your MLA

We now have a new Member of the state Legislative Assembly (MLA) to represent us.
As the results of the 2011 elections sink in and as a new government prepares to take charge, we too have a role to play in the months and years ahead.
For all those who chose to come out of their homes on a hot April day to cast the ballot, the act was just one important step in a democracy.
We cannot stop with just that.
Now is the time to get involved.
At our newspapers, in Adyar, in Mylapore and in Arcot Road we made our own little contribution in this election.
We chose to report on the run-up to the election - on the campaign, the contestants and the issues affecting the constituencies.
To make use of the technology resources, we set up web sites and posted information almost everyday.
This effort did have some positives because there was a steady stream of visitors to the sites and they seem to have used the information made available to voters.
Now that the MLAs have been elected and they begin to execute their responsibilities, there is lots more that we can do together.
On our side, we plan to report on these representatives and on their work in our newspapers. We will also launch fresh web sites which will tap into simple tech tools that allow the MLAs and the people to share ideas, post comments and raise issues.
But this alone will not be enough.
This is the time for civil society groups, residents' associations and civic-minded people in our neighbourhoods to join hands, conducts meetings with the MLAs, interact and work together.
On election eve, in some places people hosted face-to-face meetings with the candidates.
Those were small starting points.
The more important steps must be taken now.
To engage with our reps. And we need to start today.
If you have ideas to share and wish to contribute, e-mail to our newspapers.

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