There are a lot of learnings that have surfaced in recent times. But one that I’m hoping will stitch around for a long time is how important elections are and how every time we vote there are going to be consequences.
During this time our economy has been crippled by the inadequate federal response. Depending on who you ask you will realize that the incompetence and pure negligence of the current administration have left us all in limbo. In some places, however, to fill this void the state and locally elected officials have stepped up to do their part. Our job now is to ensure, wherever we can, we should continue to vote for officials that can help us.
Why is Local Government Important?
In times of crisis, like the one we are in right now, there are cracks that begin to appear that in the case of a normal race would just not. But here is why you need to care;
They Manage Multiple Areas And Their Decisions Affect You Directly
There is no other level of government that is as directly involved with you and your life as much as the local government. Some of the things that they have jurisdiction over are;
Quality of your local school
Deciding on the sanctuary jurisdiction status
Deciding on the Policing and ensuring public safety
Taking care of rent costs and affordable housing
The public transit system
Ordinances in relation to alcohol and marijuana
Job training programs and city colleges
There is a lot more on the list like recycling and collection but you will see these agenda’s being made most frequently to the voter.
Each time you are voting for someone running for the local government you are voting for someone who is going to have a lot of power and control over your community’s priorities.
State And Local Governments Lead The Way When Federal Fails
Like I said in the beginning we have learned a lot from this pandemic and it has been a rough ride for our economy. But did you know a lot of what happens on the federal level is a direct reflection of policies that originate on a local level?
Women’s suffrage, environment protection, marriage equality, and minimum wage are all policies that first came into existence on the local level.
By casting a vote in the local elections and then holding the elected official accountable you are helping in the creation of a change that is a reflection of what you want your country to look like. If federal governments are stalling or aren’t making progress in the areas that matter to you, you can approach the local government for answers.
What Do You Need to Check?
When you are about to vote for a city council seat or a mayor, what you are doing is using an opportunity to bring a candidate who stands by what you believe in the forefront. Look at the aspects that matter to you.
A candidate’s statement will help you understand this better. Look at their involvement in local charities or voluntary groups to gauge what their view is on the local issues. After all, you want them to help you as a community evolve and grow.
For example, if you look at the Irvine city council elections you will see that Diana Jiang is making Public safety funding a priority, similarly, other candidates will have different priorities.
Your Vote Will Make a Difference
The presidential election might be on the news at all times but it is the local elections that have the biggest impact. In an election in Ohio, 7 issues were actually decided on the basis of just 1 vote, Imagine !.
Participation is the only way you can ensure that your officials are responsive to your needs and interests. Plus if they are not, you can be sure that the next election is in your hands too.
So, Vote at all costs.
If you aren’t sure where to start, your state’s department of elections is a good place to begin. They have information regarding the candidates and their statement as well, so you have a clear idea about their agenda. Additionally, the local newspaper is a good place to get info on how you can get in touch with the candidates to have a better idea about them.
As I have said before and I cannot reiterate this enough, take a cue from this pandemic and elect leaders that put your health and safety above all else.