Why Local Elections Matter

By Melissa Wyatt

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’s just a few of the things they’re responsible for:

  • Deciding sanctuary jurisdiction status
  • Policing and public safety (and holding police accountable)
  • Rent costs and affordable housing
  • Public transit
  • Alcohol and marijuana ordinances
  • City colleges and job training programs

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. More than any other voting bloc, 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.

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.

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