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My name is Alex Torpey. I’m a 23-year-old entrepreneur and resident of South Orange. This spring, I’m running for Village President – our equivalent of mayor – in South Orange. Find out why below
Around the world, citizens are questioning the role that government plays in their lives. In our country, we see political turmoil at every turn, and general dissatisfaction with a Congress that doesn’t seem to be able to act in anyone’s best interest, except the special. In our state, we are engaged in a debate around the role government will play in labor, how to keep our communities safe and skyrocketing costs of providing government services while home and personal value are stagnated, at best. And in my community, my hometown of South Orange, I see similar attitudes, frustrations and debates happening daily.
Is the frustration in South Orange exactly analogous to Egypt or Wisconsin? No, but what is definitely true, an attitude pervading all corners of the Earth in 2011, and I believe the largest impetus for demanding change right now, is that apathy towards governance and government is no longer an option. And with an awakening of the electorate, the mandate for change has been unequivocally issued. And in South Orange, that’s where I’d like to come in.
250 years ago, those working in government in this country were literally on the cutting-edge of the world as far as innovating, and democratizing both information and power. But where are we now? People view government as a black hole of tax dollars, bureaucracy and rigid and inaccessible structures. But does it have to be that way?
In 2011, we have the tools to innovate. We have the tools to engage. We have the tools to transform people’s lives and experiences by connecting municipal government directly to their lives – and in more ways than holding the required public meetings and posting public notices to websites that barely anyone would think to read.
Instead of the ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ model of looking at government, I’d like for people to imagine what local government could be. Now, let’s make that happen. And let’s set an example in South Orange of how cost-effective, innovative and accessible it could be.
I’ve been involved in my community from growing up here almost my entire life, and more recently, serving on the S.O. Public Library Board, the Citizens Public Safety Committee and as a volunteer EMT at the S.O. Rescue Squad and volunteer Community Emergency Response Team Coordinator with the S.O. Police Department. I’ve owned my own digital strategies consulting business for over ten years and worked in and around offices of state legislators. My B.A. In American Political Science and Government and my candidacy for a Master of Public Administration in emergency management and counter-terrorism at John Jay College of Criminal Justice have all provided me with the foundation to be a leader in my community and help direct us towards a more open, accessible and innovative future. Learn more about what I want to do and join me, in Rethinking Leadership at alextorpey.com