Vote with compassion

Staff Editorial

Tuesday is Town Meeting Day, which means that UVM students have the day off from classes to get out and vote. We urge all students who are exercising their right to vote to do so with care and commitment.

When you cast a vote for the Ward 8 City Council representative and when you choose who will be the next mayor of Burlington, think about the implications for the larger community.

For UVM students who live in Burlington nine months out of the year, the impacts of a vote reach further than they will experience while they’re residents.

On the ballot this year: the new City Council representative and the Burlington mayor.

But it’s not just about candidates this year. There are seven additional things Ward 8 voters will consider Tuesday.

This year, voters will decide on an $85 million school budget, whether to move to a regional dispatch system for emergency response and a $6.1 million commitment from Champlain College and UVM.

Those interested in the environment and climate action will have the chance to send a message to City Council members on renewable energy, climate action and whether or not to base F-35 fighter jets at Burlington International Airport.

And of particular interest to Juul-smoking 20-year-olds is the ballot measure to raise the minimum age for purchasing tobacco from 18 to 21.

Every vote counts in a local election. But it’s not enough to just go out and vote. Part of exercising civic duty is researching the people and topics you plan to vote on.

Being an active member of society means making informed, intelligent decisions about the issues that will permanently impact the community.

The Burlington community has done so much for us. It’s taught us the importance of coexistance and it’s given us a safe environment to get our education. We ought to take interest in how this town continues to thrive and improve.

We should vote not only in the interest of students, but for all the permanent residents who have put up with our college-kid shenanigans. It’s the least we can do.