Tomorrow is May 19th.
May 19th is the day of the Primary Election.
I'm not usually one to talk politics but politics found me this year.
This is the year I learned the importance of paying attention.
This is the year I realized how important it is to be an informed voter.
This is the year that nine people who have been elected to the school board are using their power to change my life. (Well, seven of those nine anyways.)
Our school board has voted to change our entire district....They are changing the configuration of our grades and therefore will be making changes to all 14 schools in our district. 5 of our 11 elementary schools will be closed for good. They will repurpose one of them and sell the others.
My school... the one right across the road from my house... the one whose property is a short 20 feet from my front door... will be closed and sold. The consolidation of our district is being rushed and doesn't make much sense. It was supposed to save money and get us back on budget but instead the district will be even deeper in debt.
Seven people used their power to make this happen.
Seven people that were elected by the public and are choosing not to listen to the public.
Seven people that maybe I voted for in the past.
Seven people that if I did vote for them I had no idea who they were, what they stood for or what their plans and goals were for the district.
I used to be an uninformed voter.
I have vowed to never let that be the case again.
I have spent the past few weeks researching candidates, googling what the responsibilities of different positions are, learning about politics. I have talked to friends whose opinions I trust... friends who have had personal interactions with some of the candidates and can talk about their personal character.
I've been making my list and I'll be prepared when I go to the polls tomorrow. I know it's hard to know everything and I know that some people will not follow through with their promises. But in the end I will at least be able to say that I was as informed as I could be and I made the best decisions I could.
Local elections are important. The people that get into office can change things with a simple vote. My neighborhood will be forever changed because of politicians.
And I am forever changed because of this experience.
If you live in Pennsylvania www.votespa.com is the place for all your voting information. If you aren't in PA then you will have to do your own research on where to start. But I hope you take some time to learn about what and who you are voting for... and I hope you will vote!