Presidential elections are hyped!
A few weeks ago, we watched the Republican and Democratic conventions and they were hyped.
Now, local news covers the presidential elections with the same intensity as national news channels. Soon their ads will sponsor your favorite shows and check your email because there are messages from them or their supporters everyday.
All of these factors lead to a higher voter turnout.
According to FairVote, a non-partisan, non-profit organization that seeks to make democracy fair states about 60% of the eligible voting population votes during presidential elections years while 40% of the eligible voting population votes during midterm elections.
Besides people voting in larger numbers during presidential election years, people tend to volunteer more on presidential campaigns. I want you to reconsider your volunteering options by supporting local candidates that are running for office.
Tip O’Neil, former Speaker of the House once said, “All politics is local,” and that is true.
Now, don’t get me wrong, the presidential race matters. But there are laws being passed by local legislators that have a greater impact on your daily life.
Some of those laws include: Voter ID, Stand Your Ground, and laws greatly reducing income taxes for the rich.
ColorOfChange.org and their members have fought to end Stand Your Ground and Voter ID laws that have devasated families and hindered democracy. The organization exists to strengthen African Americans’ political voice.
President Barack Obama reaffirmed Congressman O’Neil’s words and one of ColorofChange.org’s goals to highlight local elections during his speech at Democratic convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania held last week. He stressed the importance of local politics.
#POTUS said, “… If you want more justice in the justice system, then we’ve all got to vote, not just for a president, but also for mayors and sheriffs and state’s attorneys and state legislators. That’s where the criminal law is made.”
The president also used his speech to encourage us not to end protesting against injustice.
#POTUS said, “And we’ve got to work with police and protesters until laws and practices are changed. That’s how democracy works.”
So, when you begin feeling #TheBern think about local politics. And yes, we may be electing the first female president or first orange man but don’t get lost in the hype. Consider using that excitement to get people, who believe in issues that are important to you elected to the state house, county, or any city political positions because #LocalPoliticalRacesMatter.
By Tara J., the advocate with a hip hop twist