Name: margalit
Location: Massachusetts, United States Professional writer, educational advocate, opinionated ultra liberal mother of 18 year old twins, living life in the slow lane due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.

email: margalitc at yahoo dot com

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Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Local Elections and other stuff

Today is election day in our small city. We are voting for spots in the Board of Alderman and the School Committee. There are some good candidates, there are some eh incumbents, and there are a lot of unopposed seats. Our city needs some changes. Our Mayor has been a grave disappointment to many, if not most of our citizens. He started off well, but following his second term, things took a nosedive downhill. He wants to have an override to raise property taxes. Our schools are falling apart from lack of repairs. He's building a monument to himself, a $150+ million dollar high school using a ridiculous choice of architects (Graham Gund, who has never designed a school) and a construction company that came in way over budget and time on the remodel of the other high school.

The Aldermen have been very wishy-washy. They blindly follow the Mayor, which makes the citizens terribly angry. They have been ineffectual in stopping many of the more unpopular decisions made by the Mayor this past year. All of this makes for some fairly contentious races, as the Alderman's seats have been contested by many newcomers.

However, many people in our small city don't vote. They say that local elections don't matter, that they don't want to make the effort to get out and vote on such a rainy day for something so minor as the board of aldermen and the school committee. But I think that's a shallow way of thinking. We have one new candidate running for the school committee that wants to improve our science and math departments. He's running against a popular incumbent that hasn't really done enough to serve the students of this community. Replacing her with this new candidate might be just what the school department needs to get rid of the terrible elementary school math curriculum and replace it with something that teaches the kids better math skills. I'm willing to give him the chance.

In our ward, we also have an incumbent facing a newcomer. In this case, the incumbent made some bad errors of judgement during her first term, trying to bring in the dreaded parking meters to our village center and refusing to visit the schools and firehouses that are falling apart, saying that she already knows that there are problems. In this city, opposing the firefighters is not a good thing these days. Our firefighters have been discriminated against by the Mayor, who is using a personal vendetta to screw them out of a contract going on 4 years now. She's going to lose her seat, and I say "good riddance".

There is a candidate running in another ward that has the most obnoxious and brusque personality. He has mistakenly gone online on our town blog and insulted people many times, not understanding that his behaviour and his personality are a total turnoff, even if some of his ideas are good. He is one of those constant letter writers to our weekly local paper, and his letters often sound like he holds grudges for way too long. My guess is that he will lose again.

Why am I writing about this? Because local elections do count. They affect your children, your property, your infastructure. If you don't vote locally, your life is affected in ways that you might not even consider. Your local elections determine how the police, firefighters, and EMTs in your city are treated. They determine how your schools are run, what curriculum is used in your schools, and how school buildings are maintained. They determine how your library, your public housing, and your recreation spaces are maintained. These are the facets of your daily life that you want to be nurtured and cared for. If you don't vote, than you just don't deserve to complain about your town structure when it turns bad.

So vote!

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Blogger Julie Pippert said...

I agree...local elections DO count. They affect us the most day-to-day!

I hope many people read this post.

Using My Words

6/11/07 2:29 PM  
Blogger Jendeis said...

I completely agree with you. In fact, I'm just packing up to leave the office so that I can make it to the polls here in Virginia on time. :)

6/11/07 4:06 PM  
Blogger Daisy said...

All politics are local. Really. Your vote makes a difference. Remember, only one vote elected Hitler head of the Nazi party -- and look where he went from there.

6/11/07 7:42 PM  

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