Local action, by virtue of being targeted, often yields efficient and immediate results. In addition, the record also shows that when a consortium of communities is banded together, they often lay the groundwork for building a much broader movement. Progress on fossil fuel divestment, establishing a living wage, and access to affordable housing are just a few examples of actions spearheaded by local communities.
Among such issues, the IMPERATIVE local action highlighted here is that of rebuilding the integrity of our elections. Our political system is corrupt, largely because wealthy donors finance the campaigns of virtually all of our candidates. Our major political parties are also beholden to these donations. Not surprisingly, regardless of which candidate or party wins the contrived political struggle, we’re typically left with endless wars, inadequate/unfair health coverage, and environmental policies which will soon render much of the planet uninhabitable.
Local action works to solve this problem by advocating for campaign finance reform and by supporting those candidates whose campaigns are funded by small donations and without funding from Political Action Committees.
Fortunately, local action is a good starting point to ameliorate such problems as candidates for local offices are often less dependent on financing from the major political parties and wealthy donors. Their success, in contrast, is largely dependent on community service. Upon the election of such candidates, along with passage of special local ballot measures, steps to reform local campaign finance laws can be set in motion. Improvements to local election security are also anticipated (e.g., validating voting machines).
A related problem is that our mainstream media, owned by the same wealthy campaign donors, are also a major source of political corruption. They control which candidates are given coverage and which issues gain public awareness.
In the end, voting takes place in a virtual information vacuum where background on income inequality and military expenditures are given short shrift.
Local action can serve to address such concerns by promoting alternative media sources that provide broader coverage on our core issues. ActingLocal can also work to remove some bias in reporting by encouraging public schools and libraries to develop and use public domain search engines that are not comprised by a corporate bias.
Finally, the greatest value in supporting local action groups is they provide the interpersonal contact that is essential in building community spirit. Upon meeting together, we learn an incredible amount about the challenges that others are facing and in response can share our empathy. In the end, our personal contact serves to identify the challenges we most commonly face along with providing an inventory of working solutions.