Get involved in local politics

By Camille Rasor | Reporter

From the Democratic debate stage to Trump rallies to politicians firing tweet after tweet at each other, keeping up with the freshest political news can sometimes feel overwhelming and pointless. Luckily, there are easier ways to get involved in politics in a way that can feel much more productive and worthwhile.

One of the most important things that everyday citizens can do to get involved in the political process is to research and start conversations about the political goings-on in their communities. Often times, political figures like mayors and state legislators enact more policies that affect our day-to-day lives than the policies of the big-name offices like the presidency or a seat in the United States Senate.

Even though voting and staying up to date on national news and politics is important, staying involved in local politics is just as important. When is the last time you thought about the agenda of your hometown mayor and how his or her policies affect you and your family? What about the legislation being voted on by the congress in your home state?

Another positive aspect of paying attention to local politics is that it can be a lot easier to start a conversation with people who genuinely care about the changes that may need to happen in a town or city. Often times, political conversation can be very controversial and therefore difficult to talk about with friends and neighbors. However, talking to people in your hometown about the policies of the person you support for local office can be a lot simpler and more civil because the issues important to local offices are typically a lot less contentious, even though they are just as important.

For a lot of Baylor students, getting involved in their hometown politics can seem irrelevant to them, especially if they consider Waco to be their home. Luckily, there are lots of opportunities to get involved in politics in the Waco area. Attending city council meetings and going to to community events can be a great way to start your involvement in Waco’s political life.

This political cycle has already worn so many people out, and we’re still eight months away from November. I truly believe that our political systems can help us to empower ourselves and others as well as provide a healthy arena for civic discourse about the changes that need to be made in our communities, and if getting involved in national politics is too overwhelming for you, local government might be a great place to start.