Mark your calendars for the next local election

Voting was on our minds during November. The precinct that houses our Illini stronghold, the beloved Union, saw voting increases of 386.4 percent from 2014. Students propelled this movement. We told our friends, we researched candidates and we came out to the polls in droves for the midterms.

For the last municipal election in 2017, voter turnout at that exact precinct was 2.78 percent.

The upcoming municipal election on April 2 will include the Champaign and Urbana city councils, park commissioner and school board as well as the mayor of Champaign. While national politics garners the most attention, it is a mistake to overlook this upcoming local election.

The Champaign City Council has the power to change or maintain the status quo with the controversial city policy permitting landlords to deny housing to formerly-incarcerated people for up to five years after they’ve served their time. Champaign and Urbana school boards weigh in on disciplinary measures like whether to station police officers in local public middle and high schools. In February 2018, the Urbana City Council committed to 100 percent renewable energy by 2025 but has not implemented this commitment; who we choose in April can make progress or continue the stalemate.

These municipal elections on April 2 impact us. We have all felt powerless and frustrated at times as national policy accelerates in directions we cannot always predict or control. The people we elect on April 2 are close to home — a short walk or a phone call will get you directly in touch with them. We can make our community here reflect our values if we vote.

Check your registration here. View a non-partisan candidate guide here.

Thank you. Mark your calendars for April 2, Illini.

Audrey is a junior in ACES.