It’s Election Time in the Greater Houston area again and boy have things gotten interesting.
All across the Greater Houston area, countless registered voters have been bombarded with political ads, endorsements, campaign literature, TV commercials, radio spots, EBlasts, Robocalls and all other forms of political messaging that seek to persuade potential voters to vote for the myriad of candidates running for office or seeking re-election for their respective office.
Of course, these forms of political messaging are standard when it comes to Election Season, but what we also tend to see rear its ugly head during Election Season are the nasty and negative campaign ads, along with the backbiting, stealing and defacing of campaign signs and other underhanded and unethical shenanigans that make politics a blood sport.
It is negative political activity like what has been aforementioned that causes people to become jaded by the process of voting altogether, primarily because they feel as if their pertinent concerns and issues are being ignored and overshadowed by gossip, slander, attacks and other irrelevant things that take away from their demand for realistic solutions to their issues.
Such has been the case in the City of Houston, primarily with the Houston mayoral race. Allegations and last minute October surprises have muddied the political waters in Houston once again, with many of the same regurgitated talking points and allegations being reintroduced to the voters in Houston. It is exhausting and it is nauseating for many, but the fact is, it is typical.
For many politically savvy voters, the nastiness of politics rarely sways them away from doing their own personal research on the candidates and focusing on the experience and/or accomplishments of each candidate. For many newer and politically inexperienced voters who rarely follow the political happenings and may not be deeply engaged, this level of negative campaigning tends to intrigue some and turn off others. All in all, things can get pretty nasty.
While some candidates are focused on cheap political attacks and attempts at character assassination, many in the community have expressed a sincere desire to hear directly from those seeking elected office, with the hopes of having those candidates share their ideas on developing sound policy and their plans to help better their respective communities. The majority of voters are demanding that the same energy and efforts used to campaign and attack each other, be duplicated when it comes to advocating for and educating the community about issues that directly impact them and their daily lives.
All elected officials, especially local elected officials, impact the community in some shape, form or fashion, which is why it is extremely important that everyone’s right to vote be exercised, along with knowing who is running on the ballot to represent you. Just because a person decides to run for office, doesn’t mean that they are qualified or equipped to represent their respective community.
Voting to elect people to hold critical offices is an extremely integral part of the landscape of our society. Holding elected office is not just a position, it is an honor and a privilege. It is important for citizens to know that elected officials make decisions on many key issues and matters that impact our daily lives from your neighborhood to your city, county, state and even the nation. Every ordinance, policy and law that is passed, is voted on by an elected official. Elected officials have and continue to make decisions on everything from your property taxes, public safety, economic development, sidewalk and street repair, voting options and many other things that impact your overall quality of life.
Those seeking to earn the right to represent their constituents as the elected representative must be engaged, accessible and ready to represent them. Simply asking for a vote is not enough.
Leadership is the key.
If you are a leader and no one is following you, you are just taking a walk. A lot of politicians are just taking a walk because they have nobody following their level of progression or growth.
If the constituents of elected officials have not progressed and are no more educated or advanced as a result of their lack of leadership, then the taxpaying voters should take a hard look at the person or people that they voted for.
An informed voter is an educated voter. Those who are seeking office and those who are seeking to be re-elected to office, should do everything that can to inform and educated their potential voters and avoid the urge to go below the belt and do or say anything to win at all costs.
The Houston Forward Times is encouraging all registered voters to take a really good look at all of the candidates running for officer, whether they be a newcomer on the block or someone who currently holds the seat. Every voter should be confident that the person they are voting for has experience and the pedigree to do the job, versus spending time talking more about their opponent(s) than themselves. Do your research and be sure to vote during Early Voting and for sure on Election Day – Tuesday, November 5th.