How to Get Involved and Encourage the Next Generation of Active Leaders
By Tony Celin LD 17 Chairman
Where does the next generation of leaders come from? How can they get involved and make a difference?
I believe leadership can be fostered through experience by putting yourself in difficult positions to grow and gain an understanding of issues that previously may not have been of much concern. Therefore, I feel it is very important for the next generation of leaders to get involved now with their local communities and learn to care about the future of those communities. One of the best ways to do that is to be active in your local government and political party. Seeing the effects of a mismanaged county budget and extremely high property taxes is what inspired me to get more involved. While I would often bemoan these, and many other issues, I never did anything about it until some wise people told me to “stop using your words that accomplish little and get involved.”
I have always been an avid follower of politics on the national level and have continually educated myself to understand how it works. As I came to learn, while national politics are important and have their place, one of the most direct ways to make an impact in your community is to get involved and be a leader within local politics. A key role of being a leader is working to get other people involved to support the objectives of your group. By becoming involved with the MCGOP through volunteer events, I eventually became the MCGOP LD-17 Chair, and have worked to get others involved in the community further. In order to do this, we decided to select a casual venue that was inviting to all members and would attract interest in a setting that is not intimidating.
We host monthly meetings at Red, Hot and Blue – Gaithersburg, on the third Thursday of every month at 7:00 PM. At these meetings, we update the attendees on the recent initiatives, issues, and events within Montgomery County and throughout the state. In addition to general updates, we often have guest speakers, including MCGOP leadership, candidates, and local activists who have taken strong action on issues facing the county and district. Our goal is to educate the attendees on what is going on in order to create an educated voter base and also to spread the information to the community, garnering more support and helping to move Montgomery County in a positive direction. All are welcome, if you live in LD-17 or not. Please come out and meet fellow Republicans to show the county that the party is alive and well, ready to continue moving forward.
While the MCGOP is growing its presence in the county and state, we always are in need of more volunteers and support. It makes me very proud to see that the MCGOP has embraced some great young leaders in their leadership ranks, including Central Committee, Legislative District Chairs and other affiliated groups. We recently elected the youngest chairman in MCGOP history this term. This is a great step in an exciting new direction and will hopefully inspire others to get involved.
While all of this is exciting, there is always a need to grow and continue this trend. I know from experience that there will always be a million excuses about why we cannot get involved, especially the younger generation (work, family obligations, other social functions, or “what can I really do to help”). As a start to getting involved, give the time that you can and make it worthwhile. Working with the skilled and experienced leaders that have been volunteering their time in these efforts is a great way to bridge the gap and create continuity by improving our communities together. By spending the time volunteering, you will develop a greater respect for your community and the issues it is facing.
How do you get involved? If you want to find out more about MCGOP events, please Click Here. You can also visit the website to find out what legislative district you live in. I look forward to seeing some new faces and friends at upcoming events.
Thank you all who volunteer, and for those who will get involved to join us in the future. Click Here to Volunteer. I will leave you with a favorite quote of mine on leadership…
“Leaders are made, they are not born. They are made by hard effort, which is the price which all of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile.” — Vince Lombardi
MCGOP Legislative District 17 Chairman