Of all our Founding Fathers Thomas Jefferson was perhaps the most profound within the simplicity of his words in describing one’s relationship with his government; “The government you elect is government you deserve.” That profound yet simplistic statement is as relevant today as when Jefferson first wrote them down. And all one needs to do is stand back from the rubble of what were once viable businesses and see what a disenfranchised community looks like in America today.

And despite all the media attention and hype, once the cameras are gone, and the activists have used up the last “race-baiting card” of publicity, what is left behind in Ferguson, are still a disenfranchised, disinterested and disengaged African-American community.

And perhaps that the real story of Ferguson, Missouri in that only 19% of eligible voters from WARD-3 and within Michael Brown’s distract actually turned out to vote. This was the city’s first municipal election since Brown’s death; the city tripled the number of black members of its city council. For the first time in Ferguson history, half of the council members will be black.

The issue however still remains that the majority of eligible voters simply weren’t interested in participating, a far cry from those protesters demanding justice and burning down their own community, however if there is a silver lining, if one can call it that, was in the fact that the participation rate of those voting in WARD-3 in 2012 went from a 6% voting turnout to 19%. And about 30% of voters cast ballots; more than double the participation in the last two elections in Ferguson. In a city that is 67% African-American, only three of six city council seats are now African-American

However in truth this isn’t only a tale of Ferguson, Missouri, but rather of a much wider issue of apathy and of voter ambivalence towards the elective process, again all one needs to do is look at the last midterm elections, it was perhaps one of the most important elections in recent history, and yet voter participation among eligible voters was also about 30%...simply put “The government you elect is government you deserve.”


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