On Tuesday, Sept. 25, at 3 p.m., HIU welcomed guest lecturer Sharon Quirk-Silva to speak on “Why Local Elections are Important for Social Justice Struggles.”
Democrat Quirk-Silva has been involved in local politics since 2004 when she became the first woman elected to the Fullerton City Council. Since then, she has served two terms as the mayor of Fullerton.
She was elected the Assemblywoman of the 65th Assembly District of California in 2012. She lost her seat in 2014 to Young Kim, but gained it back in the 2016 election. California’s 65th Assembly District includes the cities of Anaheim, Buena Park, Fullerton, Garden Grove, La Palma, and Stanton.
“I tend to do better with presidential elections,” Quirk-Silva said about the trends of local elections. She explained the reason for this is because Democrats are less likely to vote in every election than Republicans. Republicans are consistent voters, but, when Democrats do make it out to the polls, they win more often.
The conclusion she reached through sharing this information is that, regardless of party, it is crucial voters participate in elections of all sorts. If there is a noticeable problem in your neighborhood, like unsafe parks or damaged streets, she says it is important to make your issue known to your local government. This can be done by attending city council meetings that occur several times a month and are live streamed.
She says that local government “is very exciting to work in because you really see that [diversity]. It’s not the same Orange County it was twenty years ago.”
The national midterm elections will be Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018 and include elections for the local government.