There is an old phrase that all politics are local. To modern ears, that may sound like a misplaced anachronism. However, even in the era of strong centralization of U.S. and global government in which we now live, the statement is far truer than many realize.
Congress still wields enormous power as laid out in the U.S. Constitution. All members of congress come from the state level. If you live in a large city, many of the people who decide the future of the country will be from your congressional district. That being said, the political decisions that pertain solely to local matters, such as property taxes, school funding, and zoning laws, tend to have a far greater impact in people’s everyday lives than what occurs at the national level, even if they are not as interesting by comparison.
For these reasons, staying active in local politics is one of the best moves that you can make to ensure that your town, city or state continues moving in a direction that is consistent with the values that you hold and the vision that you have for the future. Here are a few ways that you can ensure that your voice and the voices of those who share your vision and goals can be heard.
Stay in touch
Many people are understandably reluctant to write or call the White House or their Senators. When it comes to local issues, well-written letters and persuasive phone calls can have a far more dramatic effect on state representatives and especially on representatives at the city and county level. This is even truer when a coordinated campaign of letter writing or phone calls is taking place.
Interact with social media and legacy media
Many news outlets still enable people to write op-eds or letters to the editor. If there is an issue that you feel strongly about and have well-reasoned arguments that solidly back up your views, writing op-eds or sending letters to the editor can be a strong means by which to persuade people to your side.
Another effective means of communicating your views about local matters is through social media. Almost all media outlets, including local television news, maintain a presence on Facebook and other social media sites. Writing well-thought-out posts can be a great way of persuading people of the rightness of your positions regarding local politics.