Real change happens in local elections
Nov 16, 2016 | 4355 views | 0 0 comments | 313 313 recommendations | email to a friend | print
As a local newspaper, our focus is always on the elected officials who directly impact policies on a micro level. Too many Americans focus only on the big races; it's about time that changes.

Whether you were disgruntled or thrilled with the results of last week's election, t's important to note that the real change comes at a local level.

There's a good chance that, for the next four years, Democrats stand no chance at taking the majority control in many state legislatures.

In most states, New York being one of them, it's those governing bodies that oversee the drawing of districts – states like New Jersey for example, have an independent board that decides – and could draw them to give Republican or Democratic candidates better odds.

Democrats only have partisan control over redistricting in five states versus 22 for Republicans – including key battleground states like Wisconsin and Minnesota – with the rest either being divided or up to an independent commission.

Gerrymandering, as it's called, is considered a key reason Republicans were able to flip Congress so significantly in 2010, along with frustrations of slow progress with President Barack Obama's first two years. It was a smart investment on a state level.

Aside from redistricting, many policies you see in everyday life are decided locally. Policing, rent guidelines and educational philosophy are local issues. As a sanctuary city, for example, New York will refuse to cooperate with any mass deportation mandates on the part of the Donald Trump administration.

So regardless of how you feel about president-elect Trump, the fight to preserve or destroy the action that follows his proposals is a local battle. It's time to start paying attention to every election and every candidate, not just the one that comes along once every four years.

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