Did you know in the 2000 Presidential Election George Bush defeated Al Gore by just 327 votes in Florida? That gave Bush the electoral votes needed to win the presidency. Do you think your vote counts now?
It is always important, but even more so in an election year to know who your elected officials are and how their decisions impact you. You should also know what decisions are made at the federal, state and local levels, and which decisions have the greatest and most immediate impact on your daily life. Ask yourself, do my elected officials truly represent my interests, what can I do if I don’t agree with some proposed policies and more importantly did I vote?
On June 5th, 2012 Florida State Representative Matt Caldwell visited the Rasmussen College Fort Myers campus. Rep. Caldwell spoke to several students, faculty and staff about the role and importance of local government. He provided an overview of the state government system in Florida and how it’s similar, yet different from the federal system.
Did you know that state governments vary quite drastically? Did you know that Wyoming, which has a population of approximately 570,000 people, gets the same number of U.S. Senators as Florida, which has a population of approximately 19 million? Do you know how many congressmen make up the U.S. House of Representatives? Did you know there is the possibility of writing a new constitution? Rep. Caldwell addressed all these questions and many more informative issues.
Rep. Caldwell also highlighted how local politicians and the decisions they make impact the daily lives of Floridians. He discussed the challenges of his role, especially passing a balanced budget in these difficult economic times. Rep. Caldwell concluded his presentation by supporting the Fort Myers’ general education initiative to be informed, be engaged and be heard.