Opinion: This election is every bit as important as the one in 2024

Oct 24, 2023

In an Op-ed originally published in the Stamford Advocate on October 19, 2023, Elaine Mintz, FCCF Vice President for Strategy and External Relations, discusses the importance of voting in off-year elections.


Right now, when talk turns to “the election,” what comes to mind for many is 2024.

It’s understandable. While November 2024 is still more than a year away, there is already constant media attention around the presidential election and which party will end up controlling the U.S. House and Senate.

But it’s important not to get ahead of ourselves. There’s another election just around the corner that is every bit as important as the one in 2024.

Off-year elections may not garner the same number of headlines and attention, but the decisions voters make on Tuesday, Nov 7, 2023 will have a direct effect on our lives moving forward.

Here in Fairfield County, there is a full slate of school board races, where voters’ choices can help guide the future direction of their children’s education, and ultimately the strength and vitality of our entire community.

Races for town councils, first selectpersons and mayors will also dictate how a wide range of local issues will be addressed.

The outcome of these contests can have a greater impact on our day-to-day lives than more high-profile national and statewide races.

That’s why at Fairfield County’s Community Foundation we are investing in voter education and efforts to increase civic engagement. Communities are stronger when all residents participate civically.

Nov. 7 provides all of us the opportunity to learn more about important issues and make our voices heard. The larger the turnout, and the more informed we are, the better the chance that the will of the people will be served by those elected to office.

The power of your vote is particularly relevant in Connecticut where the lack of county-wide government opens the door to communities working in silos and fostering a not-in-my-backyard mindset.

That’s why we encourage voters to consider the value of evaluating candidates with an eye toward those advocating for a more holistic community-wide view when it comes to enacting policy and setting priorities.

Our work in the community highlights that current challenges like the lack of affordable housing are not confined to specific town and city lines. We all are affected. Anyone who has sat in the daily traffic on I-95 has experienced how the local housing crisis has created more congestion on our highways because many people who work in Fairfield County cannot afford to live here.

So before Nov. 7, get informed, learn about the candidates in your town or city and make your voting plan. And on Election Day support candidates who take the time to understand the issues and opportunities that affect our entire region. Each of us holds the power to move us closer to a better future for everyone in Fairfield County.

We urge you to exercise it with your vote on Nov. 7.

Get ready to raise your voice locally! Here’s everything you need to make your voting plan.