In today’s tumultuous political climate, there are more and more people choosing to become involved in their local government. It can often be overwhelming to try to figure out the best way to get started and make a difference. Here are a few easy ways to get your foot in the door on any local political scene:
It sounds simple, but the importance of voting in local elections cannot be overstated. Not only are local elections important in selecting government officials, these elections also decide the majority of referendums. Do not be left out of the decision making process on policies that affect you and your community. Voting is the number one way that you can exercise your political awareness and make a difference in local policy for years to come.
Pick Up The Phone
Local government officials are so much more available and accessible than politicians on the larger stage. Use this to your advantage and do not hesitate to pick up the phone and call your locally-elected government officials to give input or ask questions. For the most part, these officials welcome the opportunity to hear from their constituents.
Go To Meetings
The majority of meetings at this level of government are open to the public and the community is always encouraged to attend. This is the single best way to gather information and to get a pulse of the issues affecting your area. There is also often time set aside at these meetings for community members to ask questions and voice their opinions on a variety of issues.
Jump Right In
Not everyone has to be on the board or run for mayor in order to make a difference. In every community, there are a myriad of committees that welcome new members. Find the committee that best fits your talents and personal interests and inquire about how you can help and get involved.
Volunteer on Election Day
There is no greater way to express your commitment to fulfilling your civic duty than by volunteering at the polls on election day. Because poll volunteer qualifications and requirements vary by state, it is important to check with your local authorities prior to committing.
As a local government official, I thrive on spending time with my fellow citizens. I love speaking with and collaborating with my community members. If you’re looking to get involved in your community, follow some of these tips and I’m sure we’ll get to know each other well!