There is no denying that President Donald Trump stirs emotions. Regardless if you are a supporter of our President or a detractor we can all agree Americans are firmly divided on the issue. We’ve seen this in the massive wave of activism and resistance. This divide goes back as far as 2009 when Americans were equally divided over President Obama taking office. Prior to Obama and Trump I don’t recall us being so entrenched in our positions. While I think it’s great that our generation (and those coming behind us) are socially conscious and passionate about our beliefs should that extend into local elections?
In my opinion the answer is no. The beliefs and values that makes someone a Democrat or Republican simply do not apply to local elections. Local township governments hold no power over issues like healthcare, increasing the minimum wage, immigration, abortion and human rights.
I’ll let you in on a secret. In 2017 I voted for Democrats Jack Killion and Betsy McBride for Pennsauken Township Committee. Their only challenger at the time was Republican Vincent Squire who I was confident was wrong for Pennsauken. I crossed party lines and voted for the best candidates.
I’ll tell you another secret. President Trump has probably never heard of Pennsauken. I’m sorry but it’s true.
Our local Township Committee members are part time and elected by the people of Pennsauken. Our local government officials are charged with making decisions that impact our daily quality of life. This includes our local taxes, services. maintaining local roads, making local zoning decisions and engaging with residents. They have zero impact on the issues or values that make someone align with the Democratic or Republican parties.
Instead of voting down party lines voters should vote for the candidate(s) who they believe will provide the best quality of life in our town. I also contend that it is not in the best interest of residents to have the same small group of people in power for over 30 years (regardless of party) handing out jobs and important board and committee seats. In my opinion any group of people in power for so long get complacent. In the case of Pennsauken we’ve had years of a small group holding all of the power in town while #TheOther35000 have lost their voice. It’s time for a fresh perspective, fresh ideas, fresh energy and a voice for the people.
In our local Pennsauken election this November I hope that you will ignore the party affiliation next to a candidate’s name and chose the candidates who you believe will provide the best quality of life for all of the residents of Pennsauken.