This is how it is supposed to work.

Over the last few weeks we’ve had a steady stream of letters to the editor.

They have hit the following topics:

•Accountability

•Saying thank you

•Critical thinking

•Differing opinions

•The minimum wage

•Local service groups

•Entertainment venues

•School funding

•Free speech

Attendance at a variety of local meetings has also been higher than usual. Visitors have commented on issues ranging from local park facilities to school funding to the expansion of a local business.

That’s good. Keep it up, even if whatever issue you’re interested in right now does not end up going in your favor.

The key to civic engagement is understanding that sometimes you get your way and sometimes you don’t.

Elected officials have a lot to consider when they make decisions. That’s especially true when their constituents feel passionately about something. That’s, in part, because if some feel passionately in one direction, it’s likely that others feel the opposite, and just as passionately.

So stay engaged. This one may go your way or it may not. If it doesn’t, maybe the next one will.

Of all the commentary made over the last few weeks, Kevin Inman offered perhaps the most sensible thought when speaking to Portland Plan Commission last month. He told commission members that he trusted them and that he would be able to live with whatever decision they made, whether he agreed with it or not.

Not everyone has that level of trust in their elected officials. (Their opportunity to fix that issue occurs on election day, either by voting or running themselves.) But it was nice to hear.

That’s what we do. If there is disagreement, opinions are voiced. Arguments are made. Those in a position to do so make the decisions. We accept those decisions.

If they’re in our favor, we might celebrate. If they’re not, we might commiserate.

Either way, we should keep showing up. That’s the only way democracy works. — R.C.