An Open Letter
Most people don't vote in local elections—here in Cambridge, a city nationally known for its politically wild citizens, only about 18,000 votes were cast in 2015. Compare that to the 50,000 ballots that were cast for a presidential candidate here in 2016.
Sure. Trump's tweets are exciting, and breathtaking national debates rage on - healthcare, immigration, economic inequality, abortion, marijuana, nuclear proliferation. But it is local policy that fixes the sidewalk, pays the teachers, hires the police, sets property taxes, even decides what type of buildings get built when and where. And those national issues? Sure, Cambridge isn't going to take on North Korea - but it will decide if local police are an arm of ICE, if marijuana is decriminalized, if spanish is taught in schools, if non-citizen residents can cast a ballot for school committee, if more affordable housing is built, if safe injection facilities are allowed.
Keep calling, keep reading, keep marching, keep tweeting. But also? Vote local.
I hope to see you in the voting booth next fall,Kelsey Harris