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The Rubicon

STAFF EDITORIAL: It’s time to get political

Make+an+impact+in+both+local+and+national+government+by+participating+in+local+government+opportunities.
Make an impact in both local and national government by participating in local government opportunities.

Make an impact in both local and national government by participating in local government opportunities.

Editorial Cartoon: Melissa Nie

Editorial Cartoon: Melissa Nie

Make an impact in both local and national government by participating in local government opportunities.

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Smaller local elections are just as important as national ones, and they provide a greater opportunity for influence. Though getting involved in politics can seem daunting or overwhelming, there are plenty of ways for students to impact the issues close to their hearts. The 2016 Presidential Election brought about important and productive political discourse. The much-disputed election provided students the knowledge and forum to take part in difficult political discussions, and it has been the governmental and political focus of the student body for months. However, there are many more opportunities for students to have an impact in their government. Months after the election students have shifted their focus onto other things, but it is important that they don’t assume a passive role in terms of the government and politics.

In the following months, there will be several local elections that students can become involved in. There is more opportunity for influence in the local government than in the national government and it is important that students continue to focus on their rights and futures, not just with the President and the White House, but with many other elections.

Important local elections that are coming up are for the state executive offices, which is positions like governor and secretary of state. The current governor is Mark Dayton. The governor holds the highest political position in Minnesota, but the election is easy to get involved with, because it is local.

Students must stay current with news, local elections and events happening in their community and neighborhood. They can also learn about the process of politics and what happens in the capitol. Doing this will allow them to develop educated opinions on policies and decisions that will directly affect them. Then, using their knowledge of current events, they can take political action to fight for their beliefs.

There is more opportunity for influence in the local government than in the national government and it is important that students continue to focus on their rights and futures.”

Attending protests is a great way to get involved. Many protests connect people on a national or even worldwide scale, but it is also important to connect to people within your community who are  affected in the same ways that you are. Volunteering in a campaign office or polling place is another great way to get involved, especially if you are too young to vote. Working in the behind-the-scenes of government allows you to have a role in the voting process, even if you are not able to vote yourself.

What’s most important is that students continue to strengthen their political action over the summer and into their new school year or at a new college. Just by being involved, students are advocating for circumstances that build diversity in voting bodies. They are creating a more positive view of politics in which there are no assumptions about who is political or not, because the action of national and local government affects them or people around them. Students do not have to feel strongly about one political party, but they should  continue to have intellectual discussions and take action on the issues that they care about.

This Editorial was originally printed in the May 2017 issue of The Rubicon.

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STAFF EDITORIAL: It’s time to get political