When people run for public office, they love to tell you what they’re going to do.
They send out press releases with big headlines. They may even throw in an exclamation point or two.
I admire folks who are willing to share their big ideas for our communities. But the real test for their proposals involves a question that doesn’t always get a headline.
What comes next?
Let’s say the big idea happens. What could be the potential consequences, both intended or not?
All too often, this “easy” (but not always simple) question gets skipped.
Instead, we’re told to focus on the exclamation-point idea (because it’s so amazing!). We don’t need to worry our pretty little heads about what comes next.
True leaders dedicated to governing care a lot about what comes next. They care because the consequences of their proposals and decisions will impact the lives of the people they represent.
Time after time, we spend resources and money on ideas that don’t have a clear path forward. But we’re assured that the idea is so great, we should still push ahead without weighing all the risks and benefits.
We need to stop.
I’ll do my part as your representative to ask the question of other elected officials. I hope you’ll ask me the question, too, whether my ideas come with an exclamation point or not.
It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about education, infrastructure or how our government can work better. We need to commit to answering, “What comes next?”
P.S. I’ve posted a video from the candidate forum last week. You can take a look here.