Why do we vote? That discussion is a good exercise in opening up a few family talks on ethics and personal responsibility. It will also help your children, partner, husband or wife better understand your own concerns about the community.
The recent debate and Community TV interviews offer great information on our candidates.
But honest dinner conversation just might help us better understand how our very own City of Summit functions, and what the other elected bodies - State and Assembly - mean.
Here are 15 suggested topics.
- Will you actually vote? If not, why do you choose not to - especially given all that has transpired in our history so that you may inherit this taken-for-granted right?
- What do you tell your children is important to you? What do your children tell you is important to them? Does that mean voting the party line? Is voting the party line the way to go?
- If all the candidates are in favor of reducing taxes and making Summit more affordable, what really differentiates them?
- Which candidates understand the difference between costs and long term investments?
- Which candidate(s) said they "need more data" to make a decision when that data actually exists?
- Is it best for Summit if our local officials challenged or cooperated with Union County? Why?
- Which candidates were the most creative in their solutions for parking? For improving NJ Transit?
- Who has proposed solutions for the opioid crisis? Gun control? Should we care?
- Do all our candidates embrace increasing diversity in our community?
- Which candidate's proposal for downtown rejuvenation can be executed? Is our downtown robust enough?
- Can Common Council actually do something about Summit not having universal and free Full Day Kindergarten? Should families making more than $44,900/yr pay $7,200 for that extra 1/2 day? Who supports FDK? Against? Why?
- How do our candidates embrace our local immigrants?
- Is shared services between communities being pushed hard enough? Is that the most practical way to reduce taxes?
- Is there a "higher moral ground" in local politics, or is it all about pot holes? How would you explain that concept?
- Will we make any progress on any of these issues in two years?
National elections have globalization, the Constitution, and social change as backdrops. Those issues, at some point, have to be engaged locally.
But real change happens through forward looking and brave individuals as well as through the momentum of political parties and hard fought elections.