Guest Writer: Jay Revell
When most people think about elections, their minds go to Presidential races or even campaigns for Congress or statewide office. As important as those offices may be, what happens at the local level often has much more impact on our everyday lives. The people who hold office within our municipal governments are tasked with steering our community. Our local elected officials dictate how tax dollars are collected and spent on everything from roads and sidewalks to public safety and schools. They also have a great influence over development codes and business regulations. The governments closest to you are far more likely to impact your everyday existence. That’s why local elections matter.
Having a well-informed, diverse, and trustworthy leadership is critical to the success of our community. That starts with having an engaged electorate who understand the issues and the platforms for which candidates seeking office support. In order to better our community, each citizen should invest their time in being an active local voter. Voting is a right that has not come easy for many in our country and we must never take it for granted. Taking the time to vote in local elections should be a top priority for anyone who calls our community home – especially those who own and operate a business.
Next week, we will all have the opportunity to decide who should become our next local government leaders. The primary election for this year is scheduled for August 18. Typically, local primary elections in Leon County result in a disappointing turnout of around 30%. But we can change that.
Voting has never been more convenient or more important. Now is the time to fulfill your role as a citizen. Even amidst a pandemic, our local Supervisor of Elections has made voting easy to access for every resident. There are three ways you can cast your ballot, vote-by-mail, early voting, and in person on election day. All of this information and more is readily available at www.leonvotes.org. Considering social distancing requirements and other impacts that may arise, its best to make your voting plan now.
This upcoming local election comes at a critical time for our community. As we sort through the economic difficulties of the pandemic, strive for greater equality in our society, and aim to keep our families safe and healthy, we must also pause to consider the future we want to create for the place we call home. Here at the Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce we know the importance of candidates who are focused on community growth, talent retention, increased prosperity, and job creation. In order to take important steps forward on those critical fronts, we will need leaders who can work across our entire community and help us all pursue our best ambitions. We should all look forward to hearing from the candidates seeking to do that work and commit to casting a vote this August. Here at the Chamber, we hope you take the time to study the issues, vote in the election, and encourage others to join you. After all, our local governments only work well when we choose to participate in them.