This is a reminder that tomorrow (Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015) is election day in Boston. You can find your polling location here. Of particular interest to this group should be the city-wide at-large election (five candidates vying for four seats), District 4 (Dorchester/Mattapan/Roslindale – two candidates running for one seat), and District 5 (Roslindale/Hyde Park – two candidates running for one seat). Complete list of candidates here.
This election cycle was lower profile than the last few since only City Councilors are up for election (no higher offices), and many of those seats are uncontested. This does not mean you should just skip the vote, however — to the contrary!
First, a lower visibility election means your vote counts more. The District and At-Large seats could easily be decided on the basis of hundreds, dozens, or even single votes. Most Roslindale residents live in a contested district (D4 or D5), plus the disputed city-wide slots, and thus there is a real race that will be resolved tomorrow.
Second, these offices matter. The impacts of decisions at the federal or even state level on our daily lives are typically dilute. A city councilor can impact what happens right on our streets and around our neighborhoods–playgrounds, sidewalks and crosswalks, paths, stop lights, snow removal, community policing, trash and recycling collection, development and transportation policy, etc. We need competent and responsive people serving; if not, our quality of life will suffer more than if we elect a subpar United States Senator.
Third, neighborhood voter turnout is critical to getting attention from whoever wins. It is basic logic that elected officials listen best to those who vote, and will spend the most time, effort, and political capital addressing the needs of those in voter-rich areas. For this reason, it may matter less whom you vote for than that you vote at all. Even if you live in an uncontested district, you should turn up and be counted for this important reason.
Fourth, voting is a social event. Meet your neighbors! In fact, meet the people you’re voting for (and against). This is the official opportunity to connect with other engaged citizens and be part of the process.
WalkUP Roslindale doesn’t endorse candidates. We will note that we have met with a variety of candidates (both serving and hoping to serve) and thus far the reception has been all positive. The most useful thing you can do tomorrow to help bring continued attention and more walkability to Roslindale is cast your ballot.