Why You Should Vote in Local Elections

Out of all the things you can do to impact your life and those around you, voting is high on the list. Okay, so maybe your vote has no power when you vote against your state’s main candidate in the presidential elections. Even so, on the local level, your vote does have power and won’t be buried by your state.

Not to mention, it keeps you up to date on what’s going on where you live. Yet, a lot of people don’t take advantage of this. They wait until the presidential election to be heard. With all the benefits that come with voting locally, it’s time for us to buck the trend.

1. You have more power

First off, on the local level, you don’t have to worry about the electoral college. Second, politicians have fewer people they are trying to make happy. If they see a group of dedicated voters that care about a certain cause that cause will get more attention.

2. You become more informed about what’s going on in your community

When you start researching local politicians, you learn more about different issues or ballot initiatives. Politicians tend to have a few issues that they focus on the most. With that, hopefully, comes information on what they’ve done in the past and what they plan to do in the future.

3. You can leverage previous connections

Now, that you have spent some time evaluating what you want for the future and the politicians trying to get elected, you can connect with others. You can get others you know to help you to organize a rally, march, or whatever else you think will help. Also, there are probably local organizations you can team up with.

In one of my clubs, we have been able to reach out to a few local organizations that care about the environment. Some of the organizations try to help the environment by getting citizens to use their political power to vote for certain bills and politicians.

4. You can go to events to show your support without too much trouble

Since January, there have been quite a few marches going on. Where I live, there is going to be a March for Science event soon. Since this march is less than an hour away from where I live showing up to the event is a lot easier than if the event is in New York. Do a little digging into your causes. If it’s near voting time, there should be some rallies going on.

5. This will get you ready for the next step

Of all the things we can do to be a good citizen, voting is the low hanging fruit. You don’t have to attend any rallies or marches to become an informed voter. You can take simple steps to become informed. It’s important to vote, and the amount of effort compared to the results is excellent.

Final Thoughts

When you vote, you make your voice heard. Politicians pay more attention because your vote is what keeps them in office. Use this power to advocate the causes you care about!

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2 Simple Actions You Can Take to Get Informed

Ever since 7th grade, I’ve been interested in learning about how politics worked. It started with taking US Government in 7th grade. I loved listening to the lectures and reading my textbook. Even so, I always ran into one major problem – class doesn’t equal real life. In real life, there are a ton of grays and a lot of dry text to read through. Not to mention, all the sound bites floating around. Every time I thought I had my head wrapped around an issue, I would realize that I knew nothing.

That and just life, in general, kept me from getting involved. I know a lot of people in my life that don’t bother with politics because it’s too “depressing” and “time-consuming.” I’m still struggling with that, but here are 2 actions you can take if you are struggling with it too.

1. Within reason, keep politics on your mind 

When you’re constantly exposed to people who talk about politics in a relatively civil matter, you start to develop options of your own, discover bias, and entertain different viewpoints. Also, it keeps politics on your mind. For me, this website and being a member of the Student Sustainability Council at my college gets me connected to others that care about politics. Whether it’s reading about how Russia’s latest actions resemble what they did in the past with China or finding out what bills I should be keeping an eye on, I know that I will leave with a richer perspective.

Now, time for the within reason part. We all know that information overload is too real. There is international politics, local politics, and the list keeps going on. What’s helped me is focusing on local politics and issues I care about. Eventually, I want to expand my horizon, but I would rather take it slow than burnout. Since I’m only tackling a few issues, staying on top of politics become less time-consuming.

2. Do a little fact-checking

These days, we are surrounded with so much information. I have found that a good chunk of the information is incorrect or not stating key facts. That being said, if I were to fact check everything I heard and read, my family would never see me again. A better approach is to start small. You want to fact-check to become a habit. To start small, I’ve chosen to fact-check at least 1 piece of information that I normally wouldn’t fact-check. So, articles are the big one for me.

Final Thoughts

These 2 actions aren’t time-consuming and keep political overload very low. They have become a part of my daily routine, and I have become better for it!

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Why I’m Going to Stop Looking for “All of the Facts”

Making politics more a part of my life by letting self-doubt and perfectionism go!

“Sign this petition to keep social energy in Las Vegas,” a man told my sister and me.

I turned to him. Right away I knew that no matter what he said, I wouldn’t be signing the petition – at least not until I researched the issue myself. After all, my mind was telling me he was going to twist the issue to make his side look like a hero. I mean come on, how could not signing one petition get rid of the entire clean energy economy in Las Vegas.

“Can you please tell me more?” I asked.

He goes on explaining how if a new bill is passed, it would be harder for social energy companies to survive in Las Vegas. So far, so good. Until he slips that his job might be in jeopardy if the bill passes.

I thought to myself, “That is a conflict of interest thing going on. Anything he says can’t be trusted. I’m going to get all the facts and make my decision.”

My Decision

You know how you have a bunch of stuff on your to-do list, and you put other things on the back-burner until it’s too late. Well, I only spent a little bit of time researching the issue. I kept telling myself that I didn’t have enough information to make a decision. Eventually, it was too late to sign the petition. By stalling, I had made my decision unintentionally. I kept reassuring myself that it was ok.

It wasn’t. I want to be right. I want to make the best decision when it comes to politics since it affects the lives of people I care about and my own life. Lastly, I didn’t want to make a decision based on me being too scared to make a decision. I wouldn’t let analysis paralysis get in my way!

The Change

There are quite a few things I’m doing to learn more about politics and get involve, but that’s a post for another day. For now, I’m standing up to my need to overthink every issue to the point where I don’t make a decision in time. Of course, I’m going to spend time gathering the facts, but I’m going to finally admit something to myself: I’ll do my best to find the facts, but a decision will be made.

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