After the recent candidate forum, it seems to me that there are quite a few good candidates to choose from. It takes a lot of courage and conviction to run for office. Candidates are to be commended for the time and energy they put into the running.
It is healthy for our democracy when candidates choose to run for office, even when there are established incumbents. I believe the citizens of Roswell are better served when they have a choice of candidates for public office. Listening to ideas and opinions put forth by all candidates running for election is important for us as voters. It helps us to make informed choices when it is
time to go to the polls. One thing that has impressed me is the relative lack of negative campaigning. Candidates seem to be sticking to the issues that are meaningful instead of seeing who can sling the most mud. It seems to me that the substance of each of our candidates is shining through and the lack of negative remarks are a testimony to their integrity.
Our staff worked hard to create the voters’ guide so our readers can make an informed choice when they vote, and they are to be commended for creating the guide. The importance of local elections is that people who are elected can have more impact and influence over citizens’ everyday lives, maybe more so than electing even a president.
Our elected officials at the local and state levels are accountable for almost everything the state is responsible for; the state of New Mexico controls taxes, welfare and the judiciary.
Once a state law does not contradict the federal Constitution and is not an enumerated right of the federal government, it can be passed by the state. So this means the state mandates most of the laws that people don’t want to break.
In addition, locally elected officials are a great example of democracy. They act on the behalf of citizens and convey their issues to the federal branch of the government. Thus participating in local elections could be one of the most democratic aspects of our American politics.
Our elected officials are supposed to represent citizens. When citizens don’t vote, they create a disjoint between themselves and local politicians. Officials act as the buffer between what citizens want and how to achieve what they want to be done, In short, voting in local elections is not only undemocratic but also happens to be counter-productive.
It’s pretty scary to think that a state could pass laws and implement programs without the approval of the majority of its citizens. When a law is passed that citizens don’t like, they have the option of voting against it, which can be done at the local level.
Yet, too often there is low voter turnout in our local elections. There is no better place to be heard than in your own backyard. I suggest that we all remember that participating in local politics is by far the best way to become politically active. If you want positive change, voting is one of the best ways to go about getting it.
On another note, I would like to THANK our readers for very generous donations of food, clothing, bedding and tents for the homeless over the past months that we have distributed directly to the homeless or taken to trustworthy organizations such as Harvest Ministries. I have to say that “Roswell Cares” and all the many donations on behalf of our community shows it!
Barbara Beck is publisher of the Roswell Daily Record. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.