It is election year and the only way to make a difference in your community is to be engaged

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I watched the president’s State of the Union address on Tuesday, and he quickly reminded me that this is election year. It is my hope that our local elections will not be as flamboyant and disgracing as what I am seeing every night on local and world news. Regardless of political affiliation, it is clear that we live in a house divided.

I watched the president’s State of the Union address on Tuesday, and he quickly reminded me that this is election year. It is my hope that our local elections will not be as flamboyant and disgracing as what I am seeing every night on local and world news. Regardless of political affiliation, it is clear that we live in a house divided.

On the national level, with our congress that we elect, I see bipartisanship when it comes to several issues, with veterans being the first that they all seem to agree on, but so far on a national level, both sides are only interested in their own agendas and refuse to work together to find a solution to many of the problems that we as a nation face today.

It is petty and clearly shows that their work is based on the votes that they can receive rather than what is the right thing to do.

At this time, it looks like it is going to be a lively election year here in East County, and whether or not you are talking nationally or your local representatives, it is imperative that people get involved, and most important, vote.

Whether or not you like President Barak Obama, the one thing he said that made sense to me is that the only way to resolve the broken political system is for the American people to get so tired of politics as they are, and make the change. And he is right in this area. Change will not occur unless we make it happen.

It is the saddest thing for me when I hear people say that they do not vote because they do not believe that their voice counts, or that their vote will make a difference. But this mentality is as wrong and broken as our political system and the only way to change what we do not like, is to change the leadership. And this is as important on a local level as it is nationally.

If you feel that your city council representatives are not doing good by the people in the community, then knock them out of office and place someone in there that can make progress a reality. To do this though, there has to be an open-mindedness that transcends personal feelings and beliefs. As a democracy, we are meant to bicker out the details in every level of government, but it is unproductive when as a people and a government that we cannot find a common ground on the issues that affect the lives of the entire community. And that is the key when voting for your local and national representatives. Ask yourself, is this representative representing the entire community or is it catering to their own special interests and those that fund them. Following the money is a proven way of determining who’s in control of a politicians vote, even down on the local level. I have seen, investigated and written about many local elected officials that use the office more for their own benefit than for the betterment of the community they serve. These are real problems that we face right here in electing our national, county, city, schools, and water districts.

I do not know what more to say than it is worth the effort in getting involved in our local politics. If we want change on a nationwide scale, we have to start in our own back yards. If everyone that is eligible to vote took the time to get involved, or at least be educationally informed about the people that they are voting for, our politics on all levels would change drastically and I believe to the point where we have a working government rather than a dysfunctional one.

It will not be long before we start talking more about our local elections, but the time is now to get informed and get involved.

In the last election cycle, major changes were made in my community, and the biggest change was only by seven votes. I count myself as one of the seven that made the difference and is taking my community to another level, and in the right direction. If you are uniformed, then by all means, please stay away from the polls. But if you want changes made in the way our politics are handled, the only person you can blame is yourself if you do not care enough to be involved in the process. Saying that your vote does not count and will not make a difference is an excuse for being lazy and apathetic about your community.