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18 for 18

City Scene

July 8, 2016
Logan Welch - City Councilman, Webster City ( ,

This summer I will turn 36 years old. Depending on who is reading this you might consider my age young, others old. I'm not sure how I personally feel about my age yet, but the math shows that I have been an adult as long as I have been a minor. In other words, I have been over the age of 18 for 18 years. Does this make me an expert on being a child and an adult? Definitely not. Does this give me an even amount of years to compare how I viewed community and political involvement throughout my life? Sure. I would like to take this unique balance of age to discuss why you should not wait to get involved. So where should we start? How about in the middle?

1998: As a 17-year-old Senior at the Webster City High School you could describe my engagement level in the community and politics as minimal. I was an average kid I guess. I earned decent grades in school, I worked part-time at Fareway, and the rest of my time I dedicated to my social life. In between all of this I would day dream about how cool my adult life would be and where I might live. LA, Boston, and Chicago were all on the list. I was happy here in Webster City, however it was small and it was all that I ever knew. I was looking for a bigger 'fish bowl' to live and work in. There were things I wanted to change about Webster City but I planned on leaving so I felt it was the job of others to take care of it, I mean that is what the adults do, right? Now let's rewind even more.

1988: I am eight years old. My parents and grandmother are proud UAW Union members and Democrats. Dukakis is running for President and it's not looking good for him. As you can imagine our dinner table held many lengthy discussions during this period. To hear my family talk about political issues and where they felt the country, state, and Webster City should be heading was so interesting to me. A big slice of me wanted to be a part of that conversation. There was only one problem, at eight years old you don't know much about real life. I barely knew the difference between a President, a Governor, and a Mayor. On the other hand, at that age nothing seems impossible. There is great power in children's optimistic views of the world. I don't want to lose this point but let's leap forward to my voting years and I will revisit it later, I promise.

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Logan Welch

2000: I am 20 years old, still living in Webster City and it is my first opportunity to cast a vote in a presidential election. I've been waiting for this opportunity for a long time, the suspense was killing me. I showed up, voted, and left feeling patriotic. This feeling soon faded and like a lot of us, I waited till the next election to weigh-in on the issues. I thought to myself there must be more to this, I have to be able to do more. The vote for president is huge, my one vote is one of millions, it was overwhelming to figure out how to change the world. It took several years but I finally found my answer, the way to make your impact is to start small and start local.

My 18 years as a minor and my 18 years as an adult here in Webster City have shown me that you do not need to change the world all at once. Start with bettering your community or 'fish bowl', little by little, no matter your age or stage of your life. As a City Councilman I have met with people of all ages, all walks of life, and various cultures. When I've met with the seniors of our community they remind me of the grand history our town holds. When I've met with different cultures they remind me how lucky we are to have so much diversity in our community. When I've met with the youth they remind me of our need for a prosperous future for their sake and ours.

Remember my promise to revisit my previous point on the power of young optimism? Well I wanted to take this opportunity to thank one of my biggest supporters and consultants, my nine-year-old son William. At times I will share with him some of the decisions I have to make for the City. He has the uncanny ability to find the positive in everything he hears, and people he encounters. It could be a conflict between myself and another councilman or a hot issue within the city I am debating, William steps up and reminds me who I am and what I stand for. My favorite piece of advice from William is "you are the best councilman so do what you feel is best for Webster City". Obviously he is a bit biased but I enjoy the confidence boost none the less. William's mother and I raise William to be the best person he can be but I find that he unknowingly and with no effort teaches us the same. I am honored to be a part of his life and to call him a son. I am sure you have someone in your life that has the same effect on you. Let's not let this power go to waste, encourage the youth of Webster City to get involved and embrace it when they do.

I leave you with one thing I wish I did sooner. Better your 'fish bowl' today. I encourage everyone of all ages and cultures to step up, get involved, volunteer, or just give some of your advice away. If you need help getting started, give me a call at 515-835-8537. Young or old, you have more value than you might think and your community needs you! If you don't, who will?



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