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If We Could Only Predict This Stuff

A NoBo Perspectives Commentary

Political analysts are like weathermen. They read charts, graphs, data, look at the models and try to bring the best guess to the table.  At the end of the day, it’s a guess.  That’s ok because we get a sense of security that someone else is covering our proverbial butt.  It’s the same thinking in politics. Next year, we’ll rely on the TV, radio and even our own panel of experts to bring us some sort of reason to get out to the polls and exercise our fundamental right as Americans in the next Presidential election.

Today is our local Election Day, as many may forget, is actually more important than Super Tuesday in 2012.  More than likely your neighbor is now the politician that keeps hanging stuff on your door.  While you might get aggravated with all the lawn signs promoting the local baseball coach for selectman, or bakery owner for school committee woman or the seasoned councilor for the top job of Mayor, you probably actually know all of these people in some way, somehow.  So, believe it or not, yes, this Tuesday is far more important than that vote for President.

The environmentalist’s quip “think global, act local” may be considered cliché, however, there is a truth to the phrase. In fact, it’s a guiding principal behind NoBo and what we hope to accomplish as we continue to launch in the coming weeks.

While we’re working through a global transformation, we cannot, should not, stray away from everything going on in our backyard.  Think about it, in our lifetime, what’s the likelihood of getting ten minutes of the President’s time, plus the likelihood that any question or disagreement we have will have any impact on the nation’s direction?

However, if you reach one of your local elected officials, State Representatives, City Councilors, Mayor’s, Aldermen; they’re accessible, they’ll call you back, email you and try to keep in touch.  Why? Their jobs count on your vote.  Deeper than that, those folks are your next-door neighbors, your kids’ coaches, or your local business owner. With that said, we have much more control over their fate, than we would on a national election.  These folks rely on the people to get out and vote and we should, in droves.

You know that the baseball coach is great at teaching kids but is he really the best fit for councilor? Is the bakery owner qualified enough to talk about the future of education for your children, or is she just mad that there’s too many cars parked in front of her store at 2:00?  What’s the motivation behind the councilor’s bid for mayor, to be the most popular or to really try and cut a $160 million dollar budget?

It’s amazing the amount of responsibility these folks have and are willing to take on when we elect them to office.  It’s also amazing that less people will come out to vote for local elections than Sate or National Elections.   It’s great conversation, it’s great to keep up with world politics, especially since we are so deeply connected via media.  What we’re forgetting is that we all need a place to live, we need a place to raise our families and we need to make sure our cities and towns don’t fail.

When we entrust leadership at the local level to folks that we know, we’re taking a bigger risk.  The beauty of our system is that local government is local. It’s ours, we can participate, and we can be heard.  Yet so many people will let that opportunity slide away because “they forgot it was Election Day.”

If we want America to succeed, we need our cities and towns to succeed.  That’s where we have the opportunity to make change happen.  Exercising your fundamental right on Tuesday is what makes America work.  We have an even larger obligation to voice our opinion at the polls.  In four of NoBo’s areas, Everett, Malden, Revere and Winthrop, there are races for key positions in City Government.  Everett is going through a charter change, Malden and Revere making room for a fresh perspective and in Winthrop, the top elected position on the council is up for grabs.

These people are not the President. They don’t have Secret Service protection.  Believe it or not, you can probably go to the High School football game and meet them.  You can find their phone number at City Hall and call them.  If you have an issue or complaint, an email will get read.  At the heart of it, if your not satisfied with what they say, then you can actually take their jobs… if you have the guts to run for it.

Think Local – Go Vote!

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