Source:  Reflection    Tag:  linkage institution
The experience of going to the San Jose City Council meetings first of all showed me one specific way that we can be involved in our community. We can use the linkage institution of going to these meetings to discuss things that we would like to see on the future agenda of our city. This would be considered a linkage institution because the council members link us to the agenda. From going to the meeting, I learned specifically what our current agenda setting was and the things that San Jose is focused on right now. I saw first hand that sometimes the council members do not always agree on issues and the public opinion also differs from the council members sometimes. In one circumstance during the meeting, the Mayor asked the council members to all agree or disagree on an issue and one council member actually disagreed. This shocked me because I was so used to hearing them all agree, I never thought that they actually took a lot of thought and consideration for every single issue that comes up. This showed me how much the council members of San Jose care about their job, which is keeping our city the best that it can be for the good of the public. What I got from that specific moment in one of the meetings was why checks and balances are necessary. Therefore, the president (or the mayor under this circumstance) need people to check over his decisions so that one person does not have too much power. Another thing that I witnessed from the meeting was how much a policy can impact the public. In each meeting I went to, there was always a person or a company that was thankful for the help that they had received from previous policies that benefitted them. This showed me how important it is to take everyone's different needs to heart when deciding on an issue or a policy. One woman came up to the podium to personally ask for funding for her company that helps the elderly. She said that if she does not receive the funding then she will no longer be able to help the elderly and provide them with the services that they desperately need to live. All of these experiences showed me just how important politics are and how much effort goes in to the political process.