Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) is using her star power on the national stage to bring much-needed attention to the importance of local elections, which are often ignored by many citizens.
In 2010, this country underestimated just how crucial midterm elections are when Republicans took back the House during former President Obama’s first term. But the true tragedy that same election year is that Americans failed to take local and state elections seriously, resulting in the Republican takeover of state legislatures and city councils across the nation.
It continues to be the most glaring example of why every election, no matter how big or small, matters.
Americans learned a valuable and harsh lesson, but redeemed themselves in 2018, the most recent midterm election that resulted in Democrats retaking the House and capturing governorships and statehouse seats that have begun to turn the tide.
But even Ocasio-Cortez understands that more attention needs to be paid to local and state elections, which is why she traveled to Brookeline, Massachusetts this week to campaign for Raul Fernandez, who is running for a seat on the Select Board.
Sure, Fernandez is a friend from her college years, but it’s the perfect opportunity for her to shine a light on the importance of local elections, which not only affect the most change in communities, but can build leadership and political skills and be a steppingstone to higher office.
“Changing this country is not just about running for Congress, it’s about running for Select Board,” Ocasio-Cortez told The Boston Globe. “It’s about being on your PTA. It’s about running for city council and it’s about getting civically engaged in ways that we haven’t as a country, as everyday people in a really long time. I think Raul is a fabulous example of what we all need to be doing as individuals.”
Indeed, more people in every community should get more involved in local politics. If we truly want change, it has to start at the grassroots before it can spread like wildfire and propel candidates like Ocasio-Cortez to Congress.
By focusing on local elections, Ocasio-Cortez is thinking of the future of individual communities and building a deep bench Democrats can utilize in elections to come.
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