We all need an education in local politics.opinion


Editor’s Note: The Daily encourages readers to submit guest editorials and letters. We welcome all voices who actively contribute to the campus conversation. Submission guidelines can be found here.

Politics is more than news. Politics is the successes and failures of the society you live in. It’s both your daily commute and your school shooting scare. These are big problems, but not unsolvable problems. We are losing because we are playing the wrong fight.

Most of the issues that have the greatest impact on the lives of UW students, and the greatest space in our heads, are decided at the subnational level at Olympia or City Hall. Congress is not getting 60 votes for anything, the Supreme Court is not on your side, Biden is not coming to your rescue. But the city council is expanding the rink to reduce rush hour traffic, and Governor Inslee signed into law a new gun law to limit the size of magazines.

The differences between state and local law across the country will become more pronounced and more important as the nation’s political environment becomes more and more impasse and unable to meet the wishes of the American people. A month ago, you had abortion rights in all 50 of her states. The need for his 1991 referendum that codified Roe v. Wade into Washington state law is now implicit.

So how are our universities preparing their students to fight this battle? The Department of Political Science at the University of Washington has a catalog of 251 courses. Only five explicitly state American politics at the local level. they are:

POLS 381: U.S. Urban Politics and Policy

POLS 382: State Government

POLS 453: State Legislature

POLS 481: Big City Politics

POLS 587: The Politics of Urban Reform

According to Meera Roy, the department’s director of academic services, four out of five are not taught due to a lack of suitable faculty. they are out POLS 382 he was scheduled for the spring quarter of 2023, but was canceled due to the unavailability of regular instructors this year. So instead, we are left with nothing. Frustrated by the excessive attention at the national level, students who want to use their education to change their communities are essentially left with nothing.

The Department of Political Science, as stated on its website, focuses on “studying the institutions and processes that constitute public life,” “understanding the exercise of political power,” and “providing an education that instills citizenship.” Dedicated. All three of these ideas are best understood at the local level. Public life takes place here — fraternity, class, Earl’s. Political power arises here when the SPD reconquers CHAZ citizenship here. It is performed during the naturalization ceremony at Tukwila’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service. UW’s Department of Political Science is letting students down and itself by ignoring local politics in its curriculum.

This piece is more than just a critique of my major departments. It is also a positive example of what better education in local politics can do to empower student-citizens in all of us.

Which district of the city council do you live in? Who are your councilors? You can find out here. If you live in or around UW, chances are you’re in District 4, headed by Alex Pedersen, but things could change.

The City of Seattle must create new city council districts by January 2023, per the 2020 Census. Four maps have been proposed for District 4. can be found here. The shape of districts designs voters, and voters determine who our legislators are and how they use their power.

are you a renter? Want your councilors to fight for tenant rights? Now we need to support district maps with more renters. You can do just that by letting the Seattle Redistricting Commission know your thoughts at any time until the final ballot is held in November.

Seattle is unique in many ways, but this one is not. This same process happens every decade in every region of the country. It determines all local elections and the composition of all local politicians. This is why you spent his hour at work today, and why you were slightly less likely to get shot while at work. This is how you change the world around you. This is what you should learn in school.

Sean Haney

UW Undergraduate, Political Science and International Studies 2023

Source link