We should take smaller elections seriously
By Christian Hollis Managing Editor
As President Obama said while campaigning for Phil Murphy, the democratic candidate for governor of New Jersey, “You can’t take any election for granted.”
Local elections are often viewed as a waste of time and money or not as serious as the presidential elections that occur every four years. Ironically, local elections are often more important in the ways that directly impact a voter’s everyday life.
City council elections are coming up quick here in Livonia and local voters are going to have to elect new city council members to represent their community. Currently, a total of eight candidates are in the race for city council, Brian Meakin, Cathy J. White, Gerald A. Perez, James David Hooper, Jim Jolly, Laura Toy, Steven King and Suzan Hyssen. For more information on what candidates stand for your personal beliefs, visit vote411.org and search “Livonia Michigan.”
Absentee voting has already begun but general Election Day runs from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Nov. 7.
Voters must select four of the eight candidates and the top-three candidates will serve a four-year term on the city council with fourth place serving a two-year term.
The winners of the election will hold the future of Livonia for at least two years and handle issues such as oversight of the city budget, zoning of all the land in Livonia, enacting city ordinances and approving construction on city roads.
These are important responsibilities that must not be taken for granted. It is the responsibility of the civilians of Livonia to choose who will be given the pen to sign off on these important issues. These aren’t issues to scoff at, because everyone in the community are impacted by things such as construction on a daily basis and it is important that the people approving the construction actually know what they are doing.
When breaking down voters by age group, millennials have the lowest turnout, consistently. According to a study conducted by a Lake Research Partners focus group, roughly 21.5 percent of millennials participate in local elections.
College students are more directly impacted by local elections than others. They directly affect your institution and tuition prices in terms of funding as well as employment during and after school.
Although local government is probably the least glamorous form of government, it plays the biggest role in affecting student life. City or town governments determine speed limits, maintain parks and control zoning laws.
Becoming well-informed and aware of how local government affects you while still in college will be great practice for when you eventually decide to settle down. While not all local government is the same, the practice of trying to remain informed and aware of what is going on locally is always a helpful endeavor.