Why voting matters even in corrupt systems.
In a democracy, majority rules – or, theoretically, it should work out that way most of the time. Does it, though? How in synch are our laws and policies with public sentiment? Before you answer, some statistics to consider:
- 59% of Americans want stricter gun control
- 85% feel abortion should be legal in at least some circumstances
- 70% support voter rights protections
- 67% favor raising the federal minimum wage to $15/hour
- 63% say the government should provide health care coverage for all citizens
It’s sad but mathematically true that 90% of Americans essentially no impact on any decisions being made in the US Congress. When political scientists scrutinized decades of legislature, they found that only the opinions of top economic elites and business industries ever held any sway. Because they can afford lobbyists, who in turn support politicians who promote their interests. The rest of us are along for the ride.
The good news is, none of this matters on the local level, where everyday citizens get to pick their public officials: the very judges, leaders and representatives who will be serving them much more directly and immediately than anyone in Washington DC. While certainly not immune from partisan in-fighting and corruption, local politics still empowers voters to enact change for the common good. It’s our best shot, and it really does work IF we all vote together, every election.
Ria’s cover art for May reflects the conflicted feelings a lot of us have toward voting and elections and the local Party Machine(s).
History has shown us some politicians are corrupt. This leaves a lot of voters like me worried if my vote even matters. Sadly, greed has overpowered promises made to the people.
Is it because they’re overpromising or are our expectations too high? Take a careful look at each candidate and choose the individual that best suits the needs in your community. Vote on May 17th, and every election day! — RiaG
May’s edition is an exciting grab bag of grassroots voices:
- Advice columnist “Athena” sets a reader straight about her family’s “stupid and extravagant” wedding.
- Alex Bartlett, Historian and Archivist for Historic Germantown documents the racist practice of “blockbusting.”
- Cory Clark tells the story of an innocent man fighting to overturn a wrongful conviction. Lawless Media LLC
- Akilah Dillon, a newly arrived transplant from Atlanta, shares her take on Philly.
- Four Caribbean restaurants top the list for food blogger EATS4BEATS
- Eleni Finkelstein, reporter for Metro Chinese Weekly, reports on big changes for an iconic southeast Asian market.
- A time machine is at the heart of Andrew Jaromin’s short story.
- Comic artist KAANG‘s illustration asks what’s left for the next generation.
- Free spirit Martell Kelpius shares his tips for foraging (and wildlife spotting) in the Wissahickon.
- Matthew George (ilovethyhood) on how clean streets takes everyone’s cooperation.
- Women’s choice and motherhood are at the center of “Mother May I?” original artwork by Exhibit A.
- Quizzo by Sean P. Maguire puts your knowledge about turtles to the test.
- Philadelphia Stories by Bob Mcnulty reflects on the sacrifice of six Philadelphians in WWI.
- Get a snapshot of NW housing prices in the Real Estate Rundown, by realtor Josh Pagan.
- Freelance journalist Emma Restrepo looks at the push for greater teacher diversity in local school districts. DosPuntos
- Naturalist Dan Sardaro profiles the Blackburnian Warbler. Awbury Arboretum
- Comic artist Jamal Stokes kicks off his Street Lights series.
- Dr Karl Von Lichtenhollen hand picks the best reader comments for the most curious listings in Missed Connections.
- Plus exclusive REVIVE interviews with Manny Espitia (Run for Something), Dominique Miller (Councilmember Isaiah Thomas‘s chief of staff), and Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta (on his run for US Senate)
Of course you can read the posts online and also view the latest digital edition here. PRO TIP: It’s more fun in print. Find The Local paper at shops, markets, libraries, waiting rooms, cafes, laundromats, universities, etc. in East Falls, Germantown and other random spots in NW Philly (and beyond). There’s also a red box outside our office at Chelten & Pulaski, where you can grab a copy 24/7.
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Keep an eye on Ria’s Insta, too: @captured.by.ria — she’s always posting interesting stuff: podcasts, parties, photoshoots. Stay tuned at the Local, always, for more from this multi-talented neighbor.
Thank you for supporting local art and free independent community press!
View Ria’s last cover feature HERE