Find Your Advisor

All Politics is Local

We’ve probably all heard the phrase, “All politics is local.” But is it? The short answer is no, it is not. On the state level, let alone on a national level, decisions are made in the Legislature that can positively influence one community while negatively impacting another.

Too often, rule-making is done from the perspective of the person(s) making the rules while ignoring many of those affected by the rules.

Far too often, even States like Florida that have “local Rule” have policy (laws) dictated by the State legislative body. Florida’s constitution state municipalities shall have the governmental, corporate, and proprietary powers to enable them to conduct municipal government, perform municipal functions, and render municipal services, and may exercise any power for municipal purposes, except when expressly prohibited by law……The provisions of this section shall be so construed as to secure for municipalities the broad exercise of home rule powers granted by the constitution. It is the further intent of the Legislature to extend to municipalities the exercise of powers for municipal governmental, corporate, or proprietary purposes not expressly prohibited by the constitution, general or special law, or county charter and to remove any limitations, judicially imposed or otherwise, on the exercise of home rule powers other than those so expressly prohibited…


While the state constitution offers protections to preserve local rule, more and more this privilege is eroding away.

With increasing regularity, many lobbyists have found it much easier to have legislation passed at the state level that effectively removes local governments and, thus, local citizens from a process that can have a significant impact on local communities.

Why is local rule so important? In the words of Thomas Jefferson: “government closest to the people serves the people best.” This seems obvious. Still, according to Local Voices United, “Over the past 20 years, we have seen a growing trend of one-size-fits-all bills filed on behalf of corporate special interests. These legislative policies suggest that each community has the same needs and circumstances, whether you live in a big metropolitan area or a small town. Florida is large – and each community is remarkably different. Think about St. Augustine versus Miami. Or Key West compared to Pensacola. That’s why local decision-making is so important.”

I’ve touched on only one state and only the state level. This is also happening on a national level. More and more states’ rights are being eroded. Also being eroded is the right of citizens to have meaningful input as to how they are governed. It is important to remain vigilant.

So what can we do?

First, understand the legislative process. These are typically complicated, but information is readily available right on your laptop and smart device.

Second, Know your elected officials. Perhaps you won’t get to meet face to face, but at least know who they are. Unfortunately, many can not name the people who represent them, let alone what issues they may support.

Third, once you have completed one and two, encourage others to do the same. This should be a non-partisan activity. Just encourage others to get involved.

Lastly, know how to contact your representatives on issues that matter to you. When you do contact them, be polite and concise. Remember, the squeaky wheel gets the grease.

March 2024

Popular Posts