WHO’S IN YOUR BACKYARD? MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS MATTER!
Decisions made by local elected officials have the most impact on your tax dollar. Your neighborhood is affected by local zoning decisions. These decisions determine if you have adult entertainment, gun ranges, or air-polluting facilities like Sterigenics right in your own backyard.
1. Local government manages a lot of different things — and their decisions will directly affect your life.
There is no level of government that is more directly responsible for serving your community than your local elected officials. Local government can affect almost every aspect of your daily life. Here are just a few of the things local government is responsible for:
· Local school quality
· Policing and public safety (and holding police accountable)
· Rent costs and affordable housing
· Park District facilities and use
· Public transit
· Alcohol and marijuana ordinances
· City colleges and job training programs (e.g., College of DuPage’s affordable and quality-driven education)
. . . the list goes on and on, all the way down to your recycling options and collection.
To sum it up: your local government has a lot of tax money and influence to decide what your community’s priorities are and how it will be run.
2. State and local governments lead the way when the federal government isn’t.
For many of us, the 2016 election was a rough one. Like, really rough. Our chosen candidates ultimately didn’t win. But there’s still a way to harness your passions and make a real difference, and that’s by getting involved in municipal elections.
Did you know that many landmark federal policies first originated at the local level? It’s true — local politics have a long history of shaping change in our country from the ground up. Policies such as women’s suffrage, minimum wage, environmental protection, and marriage equality all began at the local and state level.
By voting in local elections and holding your officials accountable, you can help create the change you want to see in our country. If nothing is moving forward at the federal level (or your federal representatives aren’t making progress in areas that you care about), it’s the responsibility of local governments to take action.
3. Your vote will make a difference.
Typically, just 1 in 5 voters participate in off-year local elections — meaning your vote at the local level can have an even bigger impact. For example, on just one election day in Ohio, 7 local issues were decided by just 1 vote.
Plus, if you do participate (and help your friends and family get to the polls, too), your elected officials will likely be more responsive to your needs and interests because you’re a voter. And if they aren’t, the next election is a a great way to fix that…
Be Seen! Be Heard! Be Counted! Get Out the Vote!