Local minister organizing group to fight community’s social ills

Published 9:01 am Friday, March 20, 2015

The lack of concern for participating in the political voting process has grown more common in the Bogalusa area as evidenced by the continued low turnout in almost every election. This has moved the Rev. Keith D. Merrill to do something about the problem.

A community activist, Merrill is seeking to establish a coalition of Bogalusa concerned citizens with the purpose of uniting the citizens of Bogalusa from all backgrounds in a joint effort to raise public awareness of the importance of voting and being strongly involved in community social initiatives that center on promoting the quality of living for all citizens of Bogalusa regardless of one’s social and political preference.

According to Merrill, the Bogalusa Political and Social Networking Group’s mission is to educate the citizens into making well-informed decisions in the active participation in the local voting process and to encourage citizens to use their power of voting and strengthening the effectiveness of producing an effective change in Bogalusa communities.

“A large number of citizens in Bogalusa don’t realize the power of one single vote,” Merrill said. “One vote can vastly change the overall outcome of an election. Numbers add up.

“Some people in Bogalusa refuse to register to vote, while some simply will not vote. I, along with other citizens of Bogalusa, would like to see a change in the way voting is viewed in Bogalusa.”

The Bogalusa Social and Networking Group’s goal is to effectively connect with the citizens of Bogalusa to promote and prompt a change in the community involvement standards in Bogalusa.

Merrill also encourages active participation in various Bogalusa volunteer programs. These programs are structured for the purpose of building up the communities in Bogalusa.

“I would like to see more social and political forums organized in Bogalusa to address key community concerns with the public and our local community leaders,” Merrill said.

The Bogalusa Political and Social Networking Group’s core concerns are: political literacy, political information, political and social activism and connecting with local pastors, ministers, political and community leaders in a joint effort to raise the level of effective political and social involvement to a higher standard in Bogalusa.

“It’s time for our communities to step to the forefront and take charge of our future concerning the overall future and welfare of our city,” Merrill said. “We can all make a difference by working together as a community to make Bogalusa better.”

A few of the Bogalusa Political and Social Networking Group’s goals are organizing voter registration drives, encouraging young people of age to vote, encouraging youth to participate in community endeavors pursuant to young people living in Bogalusa, advocating for citizens who encounter social, political and criminal problems by working with our local political leaders and law enforcement officials.

“Working with troubled youth and helping them to turn their lives around is important in our community,” Merrill said. “Bogalusa belongs to everyone who lives here, and it is our responsibility to do all that we can to raise the standards of community concern, which seriously affect all of our lives in one way or another. I encourage those who care enough to assist in this effort to better our community, which belongs to us all.”

Merrill said that he will be reaching out to key community individual to serve as board members of the Bogalusa Social and Networking Group.

He asks anyone who wishes to join the effort to call him at 985-570-4744.