“Sure, there are dishonest men in local government. But there are dishonest men in national government, too.”

— Richard M. Nixon

Faithful readers of DPJ know full well that the people behind this site are huge fans of shopping and eating local. If you haven’t tried it out for yourself sometime (shopping or eating local, that is), peruse the site a bit to find ways to “put your money where your house is.”

But, eating and shopping are just two ways in which we can become more local as consumers. How else? Well, by reading this right now you have become a consumer of hyperlocal newsmedia. How about another way? Politics.

I am fairly politically minded. Some of you are questioning my understatement. But, no matter, I shall press on. Today, a tip on going green this election season.

While the national elections are exciting, and monopolize most water cooler conversations and chain emails, I find the real excitement of politics when the issues are close to home. Yes, even elections are going local.

The President is the most powerful person on earth, sure. But what our local elected officials do, say and pursue affects us on a daily basis. I challenge you to invest a little time this election season in local politics. Spend as much time researching your local sheriff, state representative and proposition decisions as you do for your presidential and other national choices. Go ahead, I triple dog dare you.

That’s a little piece from a post I wrote during the election cycle last year, but it carried a new relevance last week. Phoenix City Council districts 2, 4, 6 and 8 all had elections. Average voter turnout was 15.51%. That means out of seven people, six couldn’t care less. This is appalling.

As I argued a year ago, the people who really impact your daily life are right here ON Washington — not IN Washington (both City Hall and the State Capitol have Washington street addresses). Don’t believe me? The Treasury Department recently reported a $1.38-trillion deficit for the fiscal year to date. Conversely, we have a $3 billion deficit in the state of Arizona.

Relatively, the state’s deficit is a drop in the bucket, but in reality it hits harder. Reductions in essential services are no longer headline news, public and state parks are closing and school funding is getting slashed. State officials are even considering selling off the State Capitol.

In the four city council districts that voted two weeks ago, more than 305,000 people are registered to vote. But, only 47,000 actually did. Sounds like the residents of Phoenix need to sign up for a different kind of local movement.

Come on, don’t you want to reduce your political carbon footprint?