By Kim Savage

We looked forward to starting the new year with a clean slate and the promise of a new direction. We started off in a frenzy of phone calls to Georgia, once all the postcards were in the mail. We held our breath as the Georgia Senate race votes came in and then we rejoiced when they achieved the unthinkable, winning two Democratic seats in the Senate.

Suddenly, six days into 2021, our joy was shattered by a violent terrorist attack on our nation’s Capitol. We watched in horror as armed mobs breached the Capitol with the intention to disrupt the lawful certification of the election, destroy public assets, and threaten the lives of the first three people in the line of succession to the President, as well as the Vice-President Elect and the entire legislative branch of government. Donald Trump publicly incited the insurrection, supported in his efforts by Members of Congress. I could go on with the rest of the story, but most of you are still watching it unfold in real time, and it will keep changing by the minute until this newsletter is published.

While we are all excited about the upcoming inauguration of President Biden and Vice-President Harris, the events of the last week have us on edge in anticipation of more violence. It is a real possibility. However, we must focus on moving forward, knowing that we have more opportunities to elect Democrats locally. It is essential that we continue to talk to our neighbors and assess how they align with our values. Where we can win over disaffected Republicans, we should try. More importantly, we need to ensure that our sporadic Democratic voters come out in EVERY election, not just in the Presidential years. It is inconceivable that anyone can vote for a Republican now.

Many of you will be shocked to know that loads of Democrats sit out the Gubernatorial Election years. Even when they come out, they vote for the top of the ballot, but stop even before they get to the state legislators and certainly before they get to the county level races. You will be less shocked to know that Democrats are not voting in the local elections for municipalities, school districts, park districts, library districts, and fire districts. You are not surprised because chances are you are one of the 80% of people who fail to cast a ballot in Spring elections.

Most of your tax dollars go to support your local units of government, yet people regard them as unimportant when it comes to choosing leadership. One reason is that it is more difficult to learn about local candidates due to the demise of community-based newspapers and the difficulty candidates have in raising enough money to educate the public. We need to fix this vicious cycle and get Democrats out to vote for good government candidates in both partisan and non-partisan races.

How can you help? First, you need to commit to vote in every election and make sure your family members vote. Please vote by mail or vote early, because you never know what will happen on Election Day. In addition, please commit to talking to three friends about the election and get them to commit to vote. You can help amplify outreach to voters by participating in our Friends and Family program. Candidate information will be on our website early in February.

The most important task for Democratic voters this year is to end the 146-year Republican lock on the Downers Grove Township Government. The Democratic candidates were selected by caucus in December and are fired up to serve you on the Township. You may not be familiar with them yet, but there will be virtual opportunities to meet them. No matter what, please trust your Democratic neighbors who caucused to choose the slate. Also, be aware that most of the Republicans running this year have NO experience in Downers Grove Township, nor have they attended meetings to see what happens. When you don’t vote, you have trusted someone else to choose your elected officials.

It is time for a change. This is not a random moment; it is a movement that you need to stay engaged with. It is YOUR TOWNSHIP, YOUR VOICE, A NEW CHOICE.

Request your Vote by Mail ballot today.