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Local elections matter. This past year was challenging and this next one will be it’s equal. Our local government manages many different services and it’s different bodies make decisions that directly affect your life.

In fact, local governments impact nearly every aspect of your life — so who is elected, what decisions are made, and how services will be delivered should matter to you. Your vote is your voice in these arenas.

Local elections impact:

• Access to clean water, cost of water, water use restrictions

• Affordable housing and rent

• First responders, fire fighting

• Garbage collection and disposal

• Hospital services, including types of available care, public health services, hours of operation, and more

• Public schools, including curriculum, school year, school design, help with home schooling, and more

• Policing and public safety, including holding police accountable

• Public transit

• Public utilities

• Recycling

• Taxes that fund all of these, and much more

This month (October) begins voting in Kittitas County. There will be local elections to the boards of hospital districts, fire districts, water districts, public utility districts, school districts and to city, government positions.

Understanding the function of each body and the role of your elected officials, will help you determine the right candidate to elect. Local elections are vital and go beyond partisan politics as they shape the policies and services we all use each day.

By your thoughtful, informed, and concerned vote, Ellensburg and Kittitas County continues to be the special place we love while it grows for the future we envision for our children and grandchildren. Your vote matters.

This is the first of a series of League of Women Voter guest columns to review the function and structure of municipal governments such as hospital districts, water districts, fire districts, school districts, public utility districts, as well as city government. We hope they help you better understand the local governments that impact you and your quality of life. Election Day is Nov. 2, 2021.

Not registered? Go to VoteWA.org to register online.

Vote. It matters.

Aimée C. Quinn is the treasurer of the League of Women Voters Kittitas County.

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