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An Exercise in Democracy, Arlington Patriots-style

A traditional opening Minuteman march was just an awesome way to kick things off and get in the mood for my first-ever experience as a newly-elected member of the Arlington, Massachusetts Town Meeting. Fife-and-drums, wireless voting machines, a heavy docket of agenda items that will surely have us coming back for many nights' deliberations to come -- all gave me a wonderful, fresh perspective on what goes into planning, building, and maintaining a successful town with all its issues, challenges, and constituencies. It's fascinating to see what's controversial and what's not, and to see how earnest, conscientious people can still come together to try to live up to the privilege and promise of participatory democracy, even in these trying, cynical times.

For just a little taste of the opening ceremony right before my swearing-in (it could have seemed corny, but really wasn't), I wanted to share this video with some of my non-Ahlingtonian friends:

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