You get four different news emails delivered to your inbox every morning. You do research on issues that are important to you so you know how you want to vote. You read all your distant cousin's political social media posts, along with the shameless comment wars that follow. By doing all that, you feel like you must be informed about what's going on in the world.
However, are you as informed about your local community or even your state as much as you are about what goes on in the White House and on the other side of the world? If you voted with confidence for the president but didn't recognize any names in the state and county elections, you may want to consider tuning in to your local news coverage. Here are three reasons why:
1. Become more informed about policies that influence you
As important as the federal government is for the country and you personally, it isn't the only institution creating policies that affect you. Your state and local governments have just as much, if not more, influence on your life. A person's way of life and cost of living can vary greatly by state, as well as the climate and industry. The federal government has to try and accommodate all this into their policies, whereas a local government can pass laws that are designed for your specific region. The local government has direct influence over state taxes, building codes, the schools your children attend, and more. Local news will cover the issues that are more relevant to your life.
2. Be more involved in your community
Have you donated money to help people across the world but don't know how many people in your own community are homeless? Or, perhaps you recently moved to town and want to learn more about your new home. Tuning in to your local news will help you get involved in many different ways. From learning specific ways to serve those in need near you to finding new local businesses to support to learning about community events to take your family to, the local news will help you get that information. You'll feel proud to make your own city a better place to live.
3. Make real change through local elections
Only about 15-27% of registered voters actually bother to show up at the polls for local elections. That means that your vote in those elections carries much more weight than the highly publicized presidential and midterm elections. The local news will be able to prepare you by giving state-specific voting instructions and covering the main issues of the current election so that you know how they affect your local schools, businesses, and households. You will also likely learn about local candidates, as well as potential opportunities to meet them in person. Reading or listening to the local news will help you make needed community changes since you'll be able to vote with confidence, knowing what each of the candidates is proposing.
The state and local governments and elections affect you more than you think, and being involved in your community can help you feel more comfortable where you live. Local news coverage can help you get more information about everything going on in your state or community. Research local news sources in your area, such as Gazette-Mail, to learn more.