Importance of participating in municipal government elections

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In this spotlight you will find an opinion article about the importance of participation in municipal elections, a chart explaining the goals and background of each of the candidates running for judge seats, a poll info graphic illuminating students’ opinions on the election, question and answers with your state assembly District 50 candidates, and a collection of different social media that the candidates and their fans have participated in. To view the other components of the spotlight, click the links at the end of the post to navigate your way throughout the interweb!

 

Veronica Pahomova editor-in-chief

Here’s a scenario: Hypothetical, made-up parents Lily and James decide to swing by a local Whole Foods grocery store after picking up Harry from the Beverly Hills Public Library. After noticing that their tank is near empty, the family takes a quick stop at a gas station. However, they’re hindered by a minor yet unsettling car accident from a deep pothole. The local safety officials are immediately called, but the police, who are usually the first to respond, cease their crime fighting until they receive the necessary funds they were promised last month. What happens now? Do not fear, John A. Mirisch is on the job! “Who’s that?” many students might say. This is the problem.

Though the scenario depicted above might seem quite random, each segment has one crucial aspect in common: all demonstrate the pivotal role of local government.

Going back to the story, the fiasco began when Lily and James needed to go to Whole Foods, a local grocery market that has its placement and location approved by the city’s local government. Their son Harry was picked up from a public library, which is funded by the municipality, and they took a quick stop at a gas station, which has its excise taxes controlled by the Beverly Hills local government. The two major problems, the menacing pothole and the lack of police service, are all perfectly capable of being fixed by–you guessed it–the local government, which handles all infrastructural and emergency service issues.

With this upcoming election on Nov. 8, most have tunnel-vision on the presidential race when, in reality, the election of their council members, judges and other civil servicemen is more inclined to directly represent the voting residents. This situation calls for a much needed light to be shed on the necessity of municipal government election participation. This year can be the change we need.

One thing that many citizens seem to neglect is that the outcome of a municipal government election might affect a citizen’s daily life just as much, if not more, than the outcome of a presidential election. When citizens choose to not vote for municipal positions, it is not only illogical, but also completely hypocritical.

Mirisch is the current mayor of Beverly Hills. He and his group of civil workers help keep this city in tact by managing and finding solutions to all (but not limited to) of those problems Lily, James and Harry encountered. Commanding the armed forces and appointing supreme court judges are without a doubt crucial obligations, but will they immediately affect a local Beverly Hills resident’s daily life? The answer is, unless something drastically undemocratic or controversial occurs, no.

Think about it. It is easier to get in contact with the mayor of a town than the president of the United States. You are more likely to run into Mirisch pumping gas at a local Chevron than Barack Obama at a Beverly Hilton private event. This being said, it is reasonable to conclude that quicker change in daily life is easier to ask and receive from local government officials than federal ones.

You vote for the president and state candidates because you trust them to create vital change, but you do not realize that abstaining from choosing the right local official brings upon counter productivity.

The president is not responsible for your community’s well-being. The president does not care what days you prefer your streets to be cleaned. The president does not care about your possible transit opportunities, let alone your opportunities in local zoning, licensing and funding. The president will not bat an eye if the Beverly Hills Public Library shuts down due to lack of funding, or if Roxbury Park closes due to unsafe protocol. 

But your municipal government does.

The most responsive political change comes from the municipalities, and political change starts with the citizens. Be the change you want to see. Make the intelligent decision and vote for the local government candidates in your city.

To find a list of local government candidates in your city, either view the news article above or go on to www.votersedge.org.
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Infographic by: SOPHIA GOLDBERG

To read a Q&A from both State Assembly District 50 candidates and view a Storify pertaining to them, click here!

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