Ways To Get Involved In Local Politics
San Fernando Valley pic courtesy of hector sanchez @flickr
What a week! Just a few days ago, most of us exercised our right to vote in this beautiful country. This election has brought so much attention to the political system and so many strong opinions and emotions, that I thought I might introduce a way to channel those feelings and put them into action. Whether you are upset with the outcome or thrilled, there are many ways that you can get involved to ‘be the change’ you seek both here in Los Angeles and on a larger level.
Before all else – you must define your position on issues and support the legislators who are most similar to your views. There are many positions in this country that hold the authority to influence our communities. It is important to choose issues and people that you think will represent you and be the right person to fill that position. Once you have taken a stance, here are a few suggestions on how you can get involved:
1. Support your causes. Is the environment your thing? Then perhaps donating to the Sierra Club in both time and money is where you can find progress. Gun Control your big concern? Then maybe getting involved with groups like Moms Demand Action or others can help you fulfill the void. Immigration concerns or Islamaphobia? Begin with learning more about other cultures and sharing information in an effort to avoid the continuance of misinformation is a great first step. Or maybe volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters to help bridge the gap on cultural divides. Whatever it is that you want to see change in… be that change. It starts at home. The San Fernando Valley specifically has chapters for all of these organizations, and many more, that you can get involved with.
2. Another option is to get involved in the election process. The simplest, yet much-needed duty there is, would be an Election Voting Observer. This position requires you to sit at the poll booth to observe any wrong doing by the voters. It requires you to wear a badge to inform people of your position and if you see anything suspicious, your duty is to observe and report it to the appropriate authorities. Simple enough?
3. Include yourself in “Voting-Place Party Meetings”. These meetings decide what will be on the agenda for the coming year. It also allows you to familiarize yourself with parties, delegates, and issues that will be voted on.
4. This one is my favorite. In many cities, you can be involved in the vote counting. On election day, just before the poll closes, there is a meeting to watch the vote count and learn about the voting procedures. It also gives you the opportunity to mingle and find out how you can be more involved the next time.
5. You can also contribute to the local, county, or state elections by posting signs or helping people sign petitions.
6. And finally, if you are ready to make the plunge, you can sharpen your speaking skills and run for political office. Here in the San Fernando Valley, we have all kinds of roles in our local government that you could be a part of. For more information on how to get started running for a political office, check out the website HowtoRunForOffice.org and begin to put your political machine together.
If you’d like more information on the San Fernando Valley or Los Angeles, or to have help looking for your next home, please feel free to reach out! I’m happy to help, no obligation.