Not Politically Active? Start Local

( – Many people resort to armchair politics, speaking their views on issues but never really taking action if they’re unhappy with the way local politics are playing out. The best way to have your voice heard if you’re not thrilled with the way things are going in your area is to actually get involved. There are several ways you can go about doing so.

Most regions have a town hall, an open meeting where members of the public can attend and listen to the issues at hand while also having the opportunity to make their concerns heard. City councils hold open meetings as well. If you’re not sure when the meetings are, you can usually find them on your town or city’s website or even on your elected official’s page. Sometimes, they will list them on Facebook or other social media platforms a few days in advance as well.

Joining local organizations is a great way to get to know those who are shaping other policies. The local school board and Parent Teacher Association (PTA), for example, are great places to start if you have children in school and are concerned about their curriculum or how they handle issues that crop up. A school board is comprised of elected members, which is why it’s very important to get involved in local politics as well. Though they are non-partisan, they do have a hand in shaping policy.

You can even get involved with the local PTA, which will give you a direct connection to the school. This is a volunteer opportunity, and joining the PTA is usually very easy. Schools send home paperwork at the beginning of the year asking for parents and guardians to sign up.

The more involved you are in your community, the more chances you have to ensure your voice is heard. Also equally important, learn about your local elected officials and what they stand for, and then head to the ballots.

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