It’s an election year. But what that means to people is very different.
When it comes to familiarity with politics, I’m admittedly a little spoiled. My mom was going door-to-door on a campaign when she was eight months pregnant with me and I’ve been around politics ever since.
I was lucky enough to get a job in the Legislature, working in the Michigan Senate for almost ten years before joining the League last summer to continue the fight to improve public policy. I know for too many people, politics can be intimidating or disenchanting. But it doesn’t have to be.
Having worked both in and out of the Capitol, the greatest insight I can share is that every person can make a difference. Though it may not always feel like it, elected officials do pay attention to the voters they serve and public opinion can influence policy. Many state laws started as a concern or suggestion from a constituent. Many bad ideas (like eliminating the Michigan EITC) have been thwarted by strong, active and vocal opposition from residents as well as organizations.
Here at the League, we are continuously working to make sure everyone feels engaged with the political process. And we’ve got the tools for you to do it.
The League has put together a series of questions for YOU to ask your candidates this election season at public forums, rallies and other events—or even when they come to your front door. This information will enable you to help draw other voters’ attention to these issues, get a good read on candidates, get them talking on the record and on the stump about the issues you care about, and in turn, hold them accountable if and when they are elected.
We use research and data to drive our public policy agenda, and we want you to do the same. We have put together a variety of fact sheets with local data so you can see what’s going on in your area and demand action to change it from your elected officials. We also have an advocacy toolkit with tips on how to engage in and influence the political process.
Check these out:
Legislative District Fact Sheets
Kids Count County Profiles
Earned Income Tax Credit (By Legislative District) Fact Sheets
County Fact Sheets
Select City Fact Sheets
American Indian Reservation and Trust Lands Fact Sheets
Finally, please vote in the primary election on Tuesday, August 2, 2016. With Michigan’s legislative districts drawn the way they are, the primary winners from the dominant party in the area are usually a lock in November. So, in many cases, now is when your vote holds the most power. We also want to encourage you to go beyond voting. It is the most important step in our democracy, but there’s so much more you can and should do to shape our political landscape and shift public policy. The above information can help with that.