By Urban Media News Staff
In the midst of the most turbulent campaign for President in memory, much is being made of candidates for federal and local offices on a personal level. Who said what about whom, or which candidate does or does not support this or that nominee may make for good ratings, but the reality is that none of us will be having a beer with the next Commander-in-Chief. The focus on those matters has taken focus away from the policies candidates support which impact people’s daily lives, leaving some voters undecided about who they will cast a vote for.
The good news is that there is more information available to voters than ever before about the platforms, proposals, and policy positions of candidates for office. Whether or not you have made up your mind who to support, it is imperative to the functioning of our democracy that voters understand the issues at stake and how leaders plan to address them. Before you vote, do your own research on the candidates you are considering so you know what you are going to get and can hold them accountable for the promises they have made. Here are just a few examples of issues which have not gotten much discussion during this election that are worth examining all of the candidates on.
Clean Drinking Water: Everyone has seen the devastating effect of polluted drinking water on the children and families of Flint, Michigan. Given what has happened in Flint, it is essential that voters look into the candidates’ plans to prevent what happened there from happening here.
Retirement Security: Social Security, pensions, and personal savings constitute the overwhelming majority of the dollars retirees use to pay their bills every month. As debate rages about the strength of the Social Security system and if benefits should be changed or eligibility ages should be raised, consider your own situation and what you expect from the candidates you support on the issue. Even if you are young or still working, retirement will be here before you know it. Consider your personal financial situation and examine what the candidates are saying about how their policies will impact your own retirement.
Job Creation/Outsourcing: Wisconsin’s economy has lagged the national recovery following the Great Recession. Virtually every candidate for office shares their beliefs on how the public sector (government) can support private sector job creation and entrepreneurship, look into what they are saying about the way they want to grow the economy and ask yourself if that will improve your life. Of particular note in the current economy is how candidates propose keeping Wisconsin jobs in industries like manufacturing here in Wisconsin.
College Affordability: Post-secondary education remains the surest path to a prosperous future and access to opportunities. From technical colleges and trade schools to four year Universities, the cost of higher education is rising. Access to higher education affects all of us, even if we have concluded our studies and/or don’t have children of our own. Look to the proposals on college affordability and student loan debt reform from the candidates to judge their plans on how to control costs and increase opportunities for students.
Education Privatization: Improving K-12 education has long been a priority in Wisconsin, with very different approaches taken by different officials. One of the most notable changes to the education landscape in our state has been a move towards privatizing education. Examine what the candidates you are considering voting for have to say about whether our education system works best as public or private undertaking to ensure you are supporting candidates who share your beliefs.
These, and many other issues central to our daily lives are what is most at stake in this election. We are electing people to hold offices of influence and power, make sure that you do your homework before the election if you haven’t made your mind up yet to ensure the candidates you support share your view of the world, believe what you believe, and support the ideas for our communities that you support.
Voting is a privilege that many sacrificed to secure for all of us. In the closing weeks of this election season, honor their sacrifices by becoming an informed voter.