There’s no better time to start paying attention to local government than the new year, when the legislative and congressional sessions have only just begun. I’m going to start the year with a quick, basic civics lesson because it’s been a few years since most of us have had the review — in Arizona, high schools students are only required to take one civics course; only one class about the way our nation runs is required of Arizona youth before they can register to vote.
I would like to think that most young people at least know who the President is and what he does.
Each state elects two Senators to represent them in the United States Senate.
Each state is divided into a certain number of congressional districts proportionate to the state’s population. Arizona has nine congressional districts, each of which elects one congressman for the U.S. House of Representatives.
Additionally, each state has its own legislature. In the Arizona State Legislature, there are 30 districts. Each district elects one senator and two representatives for the state Legislature.
Even closer to home, the city of Phoenix is divided into eight city council districts, which each elect a member to the city council. You can find your district here. Council members in Districts 2, 4, 6 and 8 are up for election this year because Phoenix holds city elections in odd-numbered years.
The best way to make sure you have a say in what happens in your city and your state is to know your representatives. Here’s a list of your local representatives, from senators to city council members:
Downtown Phoenix is in Arizona’s 7th Congressional District, which is represented by Representative Ed Pastor.
ASU’s Downtown Phoenix Campus is in city council district 7, which is represented by Councilman Michael Nowakowski.