City officials make key decisions that impact our day-to-day lives in a more profound and direct way than do the folks in Washington and Lansing. Funding for police and fire departments, roads, and parks often come from city and township governments.
Because of this, it is important that citizens make their voice heard by participating in community affairs. Perhaps the best way to do this is by voting.
And tomorrow, people in many locales throughout the state and nation will have the opportunity to do that. Voter turnout in city elections is significantly lower than it is in elections for President or Governor - meaning your vote has a greater impact.
Many future political leaders are running in these races. Today's city councilperson or mayor is tomorrow's state lawmaker or member of Congress. My Republican State Senator, Bill Hardiman, was mayor of my hometown of Kentwood for many years. Mark Schauer was a Battle Creek City Commissioner, while Gary Peters served on the Bloomfield Hills City Council. Both would become state Senators, and both are running for Congress in the 2008 election.
So if you get the chance, and you haven't voted by absentee ballot, stop by your hometown and vote tomorrow between 7 AM and 8 PM. To help you out, here's a short list of candidates endorsed by the Michigan Democratic Party Youth Caucus:
- Dayne Walling for Flint Mayor
- Maureen Brosnan for Livonia Mayor
- Nathan Triplett for East Lansing City Council
- Jason Bauer for Auburn Hills City Council
- Kevin Hrit for Troy City Council
- Ryan Hersha for Battle Creek City Commission