[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]2018 is finally here! Thank goodness.
While this change from December 31, 2017 to January 1, 2018 is largely an arbitrary change — the difference of only a few hours — I love the symbolism of a fresh start and new beginnings. Yes, Trump is still our president, Orrin Hatch is still in office, and the inversion is still hanging around, but 2018 offers an incredible opportunity for change.
And what opportunity is this, you might ask? Midterm elections. [/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”11268″ img_size=”large” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”11268″ img_size=”medium ” alignment=”center”][vc_column_text]These midterm elections are not typically seen as exciting as a Presidential race, but they dramatically affect the composition of our federal and state legislatures. This 2018 election season is particularly influential because a lot of people are fed up with the current state of politics and every federal House of Representative seat is up for re-election, as well as Hatch’s seat, 14 Utah State Senate seats, and all of Utah State Representative seats. Will this be the year we say goodbye to Rob Bishop? Mia Love? One can only hope — and, more importantly, vote.
Voting strategically in these midterm elections is one of the best (and least time-intensive) ways to be civically engaged. Protesting and directly contacting your legislators remains a vital part of civic engagement of course, but choosing who represents you is often easier than trying to influence how they represent you.
So, as a goal for 2018, we at Alliance for a Better Utah urge you to start by simply committing to vote this year . A simple enough goal, but one that is apparently hard to accomplish: only 28.8% of Utah voters voted in the 2014 general election, giving Utah the 3rd lowest turnout in the nation. Apparently, merely getting to the polling place is a feat in and of itself.
However, if you were one of those 28.8% and want an even more ambitious goal, you could also commit to being more involved in the election process. For starters, campaigns for local elections are usually underfunded and understaffed; this election year, consider contributing money or time to candidates that represent your values. Uncompetitive races also contribute to our unbalanced politics in the state, so maybe this is the year to run for office and directly impact policy decisions. But if those options seem too intense, simply learning about candidates’ ideologies and qualifications then voting accordingly can have a huge impact on elections. At the very least, make sure you and your friends and family are registered to vote and go to the polls or send in your ballot in November.
I am optimistic that the 2018 elections will be a breath of fresh air for Utah politics. Utahns want change; we want cleaner air, we want better resources for our children, we want more security for our families. Voting for people that represent your values and ideals is the first step in creating a more balanced Utah.
As always, please subscribe to our newsletter and social media platforms to stay informed about local elections, the quality of your current representatives, and other ways to be civically engaged. 2018 is going to be an eventful year, and we’re excited to work together to make a Better Utah. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]