I’ll admit, I’ve become more than a bit political as what’s left of my hair turns intermittent shades of gray.

Or, more accurately, I’ve become more politically “active.”

As an example, I have dedicated the time I don’t spend as editor of Accounting Today to trying to block over-development in my leafy suburb.

I won’t bore you with the details, but it’s safe to say that my once-bucolic burgh is now referred to as a “developer’s paradise.”

Ultimately, I‘d like to make it a developer’s nightmare, stopping short, of course, of adhering to a creed of eco-terrorism.

In any event, that mission constitutes a lot of late-night meetings, relentless letter-writing campaigns to various local newspapers and, well, just making myself what I call “annoyingly visible” to members of the town government.

At this juncture, I can’t tell if it’s borne fruit, but at least the town officials know who I am – even if it’s through clenched teeth as they wave hello.

It should be interesting next year when I plan to apply for a zoning variance. But in all seriousness, it has been via this process that I understood the importance of local politics.

I mention this only because in my relatively brief period covering this profession, I feel that the CPA community — particularly those in the small shops and even sole practitioners — haven’t nearly been as aggressive or effective in the political arena as they could have been, or could be.

Now I’m not talking about protesting the planned opening of an Applebee’s, or even gearing up for a congressional run. No, I’m talking about becoming involved in the hundreds of state and local issues that directly affect the profession — whether that involvement centers around a pending piece of local legislation or becoming more active within your state board.

I was once at a trade show and a speaker was trying to stress the importance of grass-roots politics. He proceeded to asked each attendee to raise their hands if they knew the names of the people at various elected levels.

He began obviously, at president, which fortunately, garnered a 100-percent level of elevated hands. But by the time he got down to the state senator level, nary a palm was to be seen.

But if my recent neighborhood activism has taught me anything, that’s usually where the groundswell begins.

Yes, individually you may lack the clout of the American Institute of CPAs or the Big Four, but as one street-wise philosopher once confided in me, “A bee ain’t built big, but it can still leave a knot in your butt!”

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