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Colorado Democrats Want You To Adopt A Local Campaign

By Shaun Boyd

DENVER (CBS4) - Sick of the political climate in Washington?

The Colorado Democratic Party says the way to make change starts here at home. It's launching an online blitz to get people involved in local politics. You've heard of Adopt A Road. This is Adopt A Local Campaign.

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The party is urging every Coloradan to pick one race, one candidate, volunteer and vote.

Party Chair Morgan Carroll says you may be surprised at how big of an impact you can have.

"So much is happening at the local level. We want people to know their power, that anybody can engage in their local school board and municipal races, have big impact both on what's discussed but on who's elected and what they focus on after they get elected."

Carroll says while local races get the least attention, they're the ones that most impact our daily lives.

"You should care about school board races. Why? They decide where and how money is going to be spent in your neighborhood schools and on your kids. They decide basic things like whether academic freedom is protected or how much of your dollar goes to the classroom versus administration. The municipal races are going to be deciding whether development happens responsibly or recklessly, whether it's pedestrian friendly or bike friendly, who and what kind of industry and jobs you are trying to attract to your local community."

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Unlike national campaigns, she says, at the local level, it's up close and personal.

"People might feel disempowered and left out of the process at the federal level. People can absolutely lean in and take charge of what happens in their own communities ... and we could go make and create the good news, the good policy, the working together to get things done that we're just not seeing in D.C."

While it's said all politics is local, Carroll says, you wouldn't know it from voter participation. Of the 3.7 million registered voters in Colorado, only 1.2 million voted in local elections in 2015 while more than double that voted the 2016 national election.

Local ballots for school board, city council, mayor and rural electric associations will be arriving in the mail next month, so if you plan to adopt a campaign, Carroll says, now would be the time.

Shaun Boyd is CBS4's political specialist. She's a veteran reporter with more than 25 years of experience. Follow her on Twitter @cbs4shaun.

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