Considering Local Politics for Environmental Issues

Most individuals think on national or global scale to make a difference in helping the environment.  That’s essential but don’t forget the fight on the local level.  More and more conservative anti-environment candidates are being elected to such offices as county commissioner, local planning commissions, and other lower-level positions due to low voter turnout and interest.  This is equivalent to letting the fox in the hen house.  In my own area, a highly conservative county commissioner was elected two years ago that has not followed protocol and has yielded to the will of local industry and agricultural lobbies on environmental issues rather than going with popular opinion. Add to that our local school board in Newberg, Oregon has been hijacked as well (with two members undergoing a recall election as I write this).  This is a concerted strategy from the far right.

Often these positions as well as other local government positions are being funded by right-wing interests outside the local area to ultimately seize control of positions higher up.

From a recent article in Elle magazine…

(From a protester on Jan.6) “We figured out that going to the Capitol and working that particular piece doesn’t do anything, because these legislators have already made up their mind. It’s all about local legislation, your local school districts, your City Council Board of Supervisors. These people live in our community. They work here, and they’re going to have to face us every single day.”

The cure?  Skip complacency and get involved. If you have the time and inclination, run for local office. Pay attention to local politics, talk to your friends and neighbors about the right candidates, and VOTE.  It matters!

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