This post may seem a little out of left field considering my other topics. But it does have to do with leadership and how we involve ourselves in leadership in real ways. How involved are we in our elected leadership? It wasn’t after this last Presidential election that I really began to pay attention to our own local communities and how impactful our voices can really be.
The Importance of State Elections and Good Leadership
My first experience in politics was voting for the 2012 Presidential election. It was my first time registering to vote and the primary motivation was to vote for our next POTUS. Something that hadn’t occurred to me was the other names and positions on the ballot, many of them local to my state and community.
But it wasn’t until 2016 where I started to take politics on a local level much more seriously. Florida recently had a General Election in which I payed close attention to. My state district, District 45 offered some exceptional Democratic candidates for State Representatives during the Florida Democratize Party State Primary.
My interested in local politics stemmed from believing that these politicians have a direct impact on our everyday lives. They fight for us in Washington and are more likely to serve our needs and best interests as a local community. This idea was lost on me years ago and didn’t hit home until recently.
Unlike the Presidential election that is held every four years, state general elections are held every two. This allows local communities to cast their vote for their state representatives and other statewide offices. These key positions have a massive impact on our taxes, state budget, education and social programs and it us up to the local community to pay attention and more importantly go out and vote for these important public service positions.
Many young people do not pay attention to politics until it’s time for the Presidential elections. The advice I have? Don’t stop there. Get informed and involved in your local and state political landscape. Make sure you are registered to vote when it’s time. And make your voice be heard! This is a great opportunity for the community to become active in addressing pressing local issues that are specific to their communities needs.
A Good Place to Start
Register to vote
Registering to vote should be your first step. In Florida, you must be 18 to vote but can register as early as 17 if you have a valid driver’s license. Voter registration forms can be downloaded online or attained at the DMV free of charge. Voter registration cutoffs are usually 29 days before the election, so make you are registered and ready to go!
Stay in the know of when the next elections are coming up and more importantly who is running. Stay on top of information by checking local news sources for announcements of who will be running for office in the next election.
Both the Democratic and Republican parties in Florida have their own websites and outreach programs. Although it’s not necessary to commit time to either party, by reaching out you will meet like minded people who can educate you on some of the issues.