by Morgan Barney
I think we can all agree that it is important to vote for our federal political leaders, and that the members of Congress and the Executive Branch make decisions and bills that affect the lives of everyone in the nation. However, people often overlook local elections and local government, which makes for less educated and engaged voters on the local level.
Local elections are just as, if not more, important than national elections. The decisions that local representatives make affect our daily lives.
City council members make decisions regarding where you can live, how much water you can use and what companies will be able to run business in the city. Similarly, state governments make decisions on funding to colleges and universities, quality of education and laws regarding controlled substances, marriage and housing.
These are all things that can affect your daily life for better or worse. If you’re concerned about education, vote in your local elections. If you’re concerned about housing or parking at SUU, register in Iron County, and vote in the Cedar City council and mayor elections coming up this November.
These are both issues that impact the lives of students and community members, and I believe SUU student voices are underrepresented in local government and policy decisions that affect our lives the same way they affect the lives of Cedar City residents.
Another important reason to vote in local elections is because local government does things when the federal government doesn’t. If you’re unhappy with your federal government, the best thing you can do is participate in local elections and make the changes you’d like to see.
Because local elections turnout far fewer voters than national elections, it is more likely your voice will be heard and your candidate will be voted in. I personally have lived in cities with great leadership in the government, and cities where there’s not, and it makes a huge difference.
Local government is here for your direct and local needs, and satisfies concerns the federal government is oftentimes unable to do. November 7 is Election Day, so make sure you’re registered, you know who you’re voting for, then go out and vote and make a difference in your community.