Obama or Romney? That question seems to weed its way into almost any conversation as the 2012 presidential race heats up. But how many times have you had a friendly debate about the county supervisor race?
If you can answer differently, you’ve caught our attention. Much to our dismay, the political conversation has turned away from local affairs and has centered on national debates. Of course we care about our future president, but we also understand the importance of participating in our state and city government. In the scheme of things, local political figures are much more likely to directly affect our lives than the president is.
“The (state) legislature makes a lot of really critical decisions that affect obviously education and all kinds of policies in Arizona,” ASU political science professor David Wells said.
Education, a power reserved to the states, is one issue that is important to most citizens in the state. Many things have happened in the educational policy world in the last few years — we’ve had tax increases, budget cuts, tuition increases and talk of guns on campus. None of these issues were decided by the president or any federal entity. They were decided by the law-making body closest to you: the state legislature.
Civic participation is vital to the survival of our democratic process. Without an informed and engaged citizenry, what would we be? This is why we caution you to not only direct your attention to national politics, but to keep track of what’s happening closest to you.