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Foss: Vote, and make a difference in your community

Foss: Vote, and make a difference in your community

Foss: Vote, and make a difference in your community
Photographer: SHUTTERSTOCK

It feels a bit like a presidential election. 

But it's not. 

The midterm elections are rightly viewed as a referendum on the president, and that feels even truer than usual this year. 

Voters will head to the polls with President Donald Trump on their minds, even if he's not on the ballot. 

The outcomes of races in swing districts, such as New York's 19th Congressional District, where Democrat Antonio Delgado is looking to unseat Republican incumbent John Faso, will provide clues as to how voters feel about Trump and his agenda. 

I'm just as eager as anyone to see what Tuesday's election will tell us about the national psyche, which is as unsettled and polarized as I've ever seen it. 

More from Capital Region Election Guide 2018

But I'm also eager to see what the election will tell us about our state and our local communities. 

The presidency is important. 

But other things are important, too

And the constant drumbeat of headlines about the president, the near 24-7 coverage of his every move and utterance, threatens to drown out pressing local concerns. Tuesday's election might be an opportunity to weigh in on the Trump administration -- but it's also an opportunity to weigh in on the Cuomo administration. 

It's an opportunity to weigh in on important statewide offices, such as Comptroller and Attorney General, and our representatives to the state Assembly and Senate. 

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If you're happy with the job incumbents are doing, you can use your ballot to express that. 

If you're unhappy, well, you can express that, too, with a vote for a challenger. If the candidates are newcomers, you pick the one who seems most likely to support the policies you like, advocate for you and your neighbors and be an effective legislator. 

Immigration, the U.S. relationship with Saudia Arabia, former FBI chief Robert Mueller's investigation into Trump's ties to Russia - these things matter. 

But other things matter, too. 

The spending decisions made in the state Capitol matter, as does the corruption that has cast a pall over the Legislature and the Cuomo administration and the high property taxes that so many New Yorkers struggle with. 

School performance, economic development, the quality of our roads and bridges (or lack thereof), local job and wage growth -- the list of things that matter goes on and on. 

The midterm elections are being portrayed as a vote for or against Trump, which isn't wrong, but it isn't the whole story, either. 

The truth is, there's so much more to vote on than Trump, and the impact of Tuesday's election will be felt in our neighborhoods and towns and our suburbs and cities. 

All voting is local, and Tuesday is a chance to help shape the future of our communities. 

Take advantage of it, and make your voice heard. 

Reach Sara Foss at [email protected]. Opinions expressed here are her own and not necessarily the newspaper's.

More from Capital Region Election Guide 2018

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