Local elections matter.
One of the organizers of last year’s school board majority recall is now running for state representative.
Her name is Tammy Story. I had the opportunity to meet and speak with her on a range of issues, especially public schools. It is clear to me that she is a rare find in the political world. Ms. Story has demonstrated that she has the public good at heart, not only through her words, but more importantly, through her actions.
Experience is the highest teacher. I happen to be an educator. I teach at a local middle school. When you directly experience the effects of political decisions made by elected officials that affect your personal and professional life, and the community at large, you either take constructive action or you become a silent victim.
Such was the case nearly a year ago when the local Jeffco community came together and ousted a school board majority that was determined to privatize and disrupt our public school district. The Jeffco Public School District was headed down the path of becoming the property of a few who held the reins of power rather than being an entity shared by the PUBLIC. You know, a democratic institution. For the students, parents, teachers, and community this experience was not an ideology, it was a harsh reality.
This is a huge election year. Even though there are federal representatives that are supposed to go to bat for us in our respective districts and state, it certainly does not feel as if they are truly in touch with our daily needs. The chasm between us is vast. It is as if federal politicians are existing in another galaxy. Government is supposed to serve us. Politicians are public servants. They are not doing their jobs.
It does not matter what political party you may align yourself with. Due to the fact that federal politicians are so far removed from us socioeconomically and culturally, the majority of these people do not care for you and me. As Noam Chomsky put it, “In the US, there is basically one party – the business party. It has two factions, called Democrats and Republicans, which are somewhat different but carry out variations on the same policies.”
This leads to an interesting conclusion. Democrat and Republican policy platforms and philosophies may appear different, but they have the same outcomes. These outcomes do not truly benefit us, we the people.
But, change can come at the local level. This is where government closely touches our lives. This is where local neighborhoods can mobilize, vote, and elect representatives that truly care about us. This is why a vote for Tammy Story is a vote for our own self-interest. She lives with us and wants to make things better for our daily lives.