Do me a favor.
Take a couple of minutes to watch this video. It’s an instructive lecture from the general manager of Panhandle PBS on why your vote matters, especially at the local level.
If you live in the Texas Panhandle or far away from this part of the United States of America, this message is for you.
Chris Hays put this video together to promote a public affairs program to be broadcast Thursday night on Panhandle PBS. The “Live Here” segment airs at 7 p.m. and it features a candidate forum for the 16 people running for all five seats on the Amarillo City Council.
The video, though, speaks to voters across the country. Many voters don’t take part in their local elections, thinking apparently that their vote doesn’t matter and that the people who run for these offices don’t really do anything to affect citizens’ lives.
Wrong, wrong, wrong.
It’s the local elections that matter most to us. We ought to be voting on the people who set policies for our households, as well as for our children’s education.
Texas communities are conducting elections in early May. The turnout for most of them is expected to be paltry, dismal, shamefully low. Amarillo has had its share of tumult in recent months, so there might be a slight uptick in voter participation here.
What about where you live? Are you going to hand these critical decisions over to someone else, let your neighbor decide how much you pay in local property taxes?
Don’t do it. Your neighbor, or the folks across town can’t speak for you. Only you can speak for yourself.
One way to speak is to cast a vote for the candidate of your choice running for local office in your hometown.
Before you decide to sit this one out, take a peek at the video here. Maybe it’ll change your mind.