Recognition for ‘Headliner’ well-earned


People say it all the time.

They don’t do things for the recognition. They have higher, loftier goals than that. It’s all fine to be honored for your work, but that’s not what it’s all about, they say.

Sure thing. Truth be told, though, we all like to be patted on the back for a job well done.

To that end, a young Amarillo woman has received a well-placed honor by the Amarillo Globe-News. Meghan Riddlespurger is a Globe-News Headliner of the Year.

She made headlines by helping spearhead a movement of fellow young Amarillo residents to get involved in a municipal election. The Amarillo Millennial Movement — named to honor those from the so-called “millennial generation” — was created to campaign in favor of a multipurpose event venue that was decided in a citywide election this past November.

Riddlespurger stepped up. It wasn’t always an easy path to notoriety. She became the target of some criticism from those who opposed the MPEV. Some of the criticism was angry to the point of being mean and cruel.

But the young woman stayed the course.

It’s not yet known whether the AMM will have staying power. Nor is it known whether the effort to energize young voters will gather even more steam. Such endeavors often need a specific goal to craft strategies and tactics to meet that goal.

It’s my hope, though, that AMM’s efforts will continue.

Many of us have long lamented a couple of sad realities about municipal elections in this city.

One is that the overall turnouts for these elections are pitiful in the extreme. The MPEV referendum produced a greater than normal turnout, but let’s face it: 20-plus percent voter participation still isn’t great.

The other is that Amarillo has suffered a “brain drain” among young residents, who graduate from high school, then head off to college somewhere far away, get their degree and then come home back only to see Mom, Dad, their siblings and a few of their best friends. They leave the city behind while they pursue their dreams elsewhere.

Riddlespurger’s effort seeks to reverse that trend. It seeks to keep young people at home to raise their own families and to build a better community.

It’s a noble effort.

I’m glad to see the recognition come her way.

Well done — and well-earned — Meghan.

Keep the faith.




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