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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

JOURNAL: Lessons in Liabilities

Photo by Keifer Russell
Last week, Milwaukee mayor Cavalier Johnson won his re-election campaign. He’ll serve the city for the next two years.

Election year is upon us again. As we start getting bombarded with campaign promises, mudslinging videos and voter registration, it’s important to remember that this isn’t just a national level issue.

The presidency isn’t the only office up for election this year. Across the United States, local and state politicians will be running for office, hoping to enact change for their communities. We as Americans need to be more cognizant of the elections happening at the local level. 

There is currently recordlow voter turnout for local elections. It’s important to understand the implications of this fact.

When you don’t vote, things will not change in a way that benefits you and your community. A majority of active voters are on the older side; young voters, mainly college-age, need to start caring about elections. We are the ones who will live to see the impact of these elections. 

We will reap the benefits or inherit the problems of these elected politicians and their policies. We need to start taking a stance and voting for the changes we want to see made by our local politicians.

State and local politics are more likely to impact us at a more rapid and visible level than the efforts of the president. Local governments focus on improving their surrounding communities along with creating laws for the betterment of the cities or states they serve.  

The city government is going to be working with the criminal justice system, local school districts and operating within the bounds of city infrastructure. Getting involved with local government will educate you on the environment around you and pushing change can improve your quality of life along with that of others.

It’s also important to get involved with local elections because those smaller forms of government have access to powers that the federal government does not oversee. 

While, yes, we all know who the president is, city politicians are going to be the ones we are interacting with the most.

They’ll be running council meetings, attending festivals, walking in parades and making speeches at local events. Learning about their promises and priorities allows you to vote for someone that more closely aligns with your views and can enact those changes.

Local elections include a wide range of positions in the fields of criminal justice, city governance, education and treasury. Prosecutors and coroners are both jobs decided by local elections. These people can greatly influence how court and criminal trials proceed within your district. This can include setting precedents that will impact people for years to come along with dictating the pace of criminal proceedings throughout their terms.

One of the clearest examples of local election importance can be seen through the decisions of your local school board.

Throughout the entirety of the United States, we are seeing a lot of talk about banning books and censoring the content that children are learning in the classroom. For example, in Menomonee Falls last October the school board brought 33 books to the attention of the superintendent and called for their removal. Among those 33 books were “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” by Stephen Chbosky, “The Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini, “Slaughterhouse-Five” by Kurt Vonnegut and “Shine” by Lauren Myracle.

School board officials supervise and regulate the curriculums students learn within, and therefore have a lot of sway over what is taught. The district boards hear the concerns of parents and bring those to the attention of the superintendent. They also often hold the power to fire teachers which greatly affects children, the quality of their learning and the routine of their school day.

School boards, city council and judges play an even greater role than we are currently aware of. It’s necessary to vote in elections besides the presidential to ensure the future of our country is moving in a direction you agree with.

Prior to election day, remember to educate yourself on all aspects of voting. Double check that you’ve registered to vote and have all necessary identification with you. You should locate your polling site ahead of time and have blocked out your schedule, so you have enough time to go through the polls.  

Lastly, be sure to read about all the candidates and know their campaign promises. It’s also integral to understand what positions they are running for because you need to know that their promises fit into the job and are achievable within their time in office.

Voting is a power given to citizens to encourage change in their state and city. This power only works if you take the initiative to go out and engage in politics. As elections sweep through the country this year, aim to get involved and make your vote count.

This story was written by Izzy Fonfara Drewel. She can be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributors
Izzy Fonfara Drewel
Izzy Fonfara Drewel, Production Director
Izzy Fonfara Drewel is a senior from Papillion, Nebraska majoring in journalism with a double minor in music and Spanish. This school year she will be serving as the Production Director. In previous years, she made her home on the Arts & Entertainment desk as the Executive Arts & Entertainment Editor, and she was the Executive Opinions Editor last year. Outside of the Wire, Izzy plays the trumpet in the Marquette University Bands and spends her free time trying new restaurants and playing card games with her friends. She is excited to pilot this position this year and build a strong staff that is confident in their abilities.
Keifer Russell
Keifer Russell, Staff Photographer
Keifer Russell is a junior from Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin studying digital media and public relations and is a Staff Photographer of the Marquette Wire for the 2023-2024 school year. Outside of the Wire he enjoys rock climbing, photography (figures), as well as finding and listening to new music. He is very excited to further refine his photographic content over the next year

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