Voting in an election is not the only way for residents to get involved in local politics. If you feel strongly about an issue, there are many ways to express your views. One can become knowledgeable about the issue by reading, researching and interviewing experts. You could write to your local newspaper or post your thoughts on social media. Another way is to send letters to a Senator or your MP to let them know how you feel. They may want to talk to you about it.
Politicians may be the faces of local politics, but volunteers are often the engines that make political operations run smoothly. The following are three simple ways people with a passion for politics can get involved in their local governments.
Volunteer with a campaign. Local politicians may be your neighbour, your child’s sports coach or a friend you’ve known since childhood. All political campaigns rely on the efforts of volunteers to get their messages out, and that’s especially so in local elections. Local candidates likely don’t have the funding that’s available to provincial or national politicians. As a result, local politicians often must stretch every dollar, and that becomes easier with each additional volunteer who joins their staff. If there’s a candidate you feel strongly about, don’t hesitate to volunteer with his or her campaign.
Work with a nonprofit organization. Many nonprofit organizations are involved with local politics. Some may support a candidate who’s supported their missions, while others’ missions may be rooted in politics. For example, a local nonprofit may be centered around getting more young people to vote. Individuals who don’t want to get involved in the partisan side of local politics can still lend a hand by working with nonprofit organizations that are not affiliated with a party or candidate.
Work with local election boards, which rely on volunteers during election campaigns. Such volunteers work in polling stations, which typically open in early morning and may remain so until late in the evening. The more volunteers who can pitch in on Election Day, the more smoothly voting can go. That may translate to shorter lines and a more enjoyable voting experience for local residents. Local governments also may need volunteers throughout the year to work during city council meetings.
Individuals need not run for office to get involved in local politics, which provides a great way for residents to give back to their communities.