I received an email from a former colleague this morning about the new Zap Blog. He was particularly excited about my last Obama post because he had just thrown his hat into the political ring for the first time. He is running for Park District Board.

While the national media focuses on Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and the 2008 Presidential Election, here in Illinois it’s Municipal Election time.

Speaker of the House Tip O'Neill often noted, "All politics is local." He was explaining how the problems and concerns of towns and cities around the country dictated how their representatives and senators voted in Washington.
This Spring, local politics takes center stage as voters choose candidates to represent them at the city and community levels.

Names like Clinton, Obama, McCain and Bush are replaced with those of Reilly for 42nd Ward Alderman, Bolds for Wheaton Mayor and Johnson for Homewood Park District Board!

These races for public office usually do not depend on huge campaign budgets, highly publicized debates or prime time television ads. Instead, they are about knocking on doors, talking to your neighbors and caring about your community.

Let’s be honest serving on a village board is a thankless job. But it also represents public service at its purest.

So remember by supporting a candidate for local office, you are choosing the individual who might ensure your garbage is picked up on time or the pothole down the street is fixed. Potholes and garbage, I can’t think of a more vivid portrayal of democracy in action.

David Zapata