“This presidential election is huge” is something I have heard countless times in the past year and of course is it, but something is missing from the statement to me. As well as, the statement is getting uncomfortably dry and boring for me. Obviously the presidential election is huge and it will have huge implications but in reality this election is bigger than Hillary vs Trump. It is about Governor, it’s about congressional districts, it’s about mayor, it’s about city council, ect. Yet politics within the realm of major media and social media seemingly only revolves about presidential elections. And from the past month of working with Democracy NC and being so intertwined within local politics and the power of change within it I am just disheartened by the lack of focus upon local and state government. Until recently with Governor Pat McCrorys ridiculous bills no one seemed to talk about the power and importance of this year’s Governor’s race. But even more importantly we must talk about how many republicans support McCrory even after the huge backlash from HB2.
The local board of elections meeting is determining the ease of voting in the upcoming election, my city council member is implementing green policy in our community, our state General assembly is passing legislation that is getting Duke off the hook for the ash plants so people can have clean water, and our state general assembly is passing an election year budget to make sure the majority (republicans) look like they are doing a great job so they stay in power. Obviously the presidents have huge effects in government, especially with executive orders, but I see so much of my life dictated by local and state that when I hear people talking about presidential only I am in shock. But I understand it to some extent, we all have varying levels of education of government, government is confusing, the media only seems to talk about presidential, and other reasons that continue to blind people of the power of their vote in local and state elections. I met a young man at the Juneteenth celebration who said he wasn’t going to vote in the fall since he didn’t like either candidate. I immediately pushed back on this notion that voting is just for presidential, I had to bring up that its bigger than Hillary or Trump and that this young man could be the determining factor with Jeff Mackintosh’s campaign of the northwest ward to win his seat again in the highly contested city council seat. Zach and I met Jeff a couple weeks ago and he spoke to us about his district (of which wake is located) is 40 or so percent Dem, 40 or so percent Rep, and 20 percent Independent means every vote matters for him. I understand why people are apathetic about this presidential election, I just wish many of these individuals and even the ones who are excited for this presidential election see politics has two other levels: local and state.
-David Ajamy II