I moved to District 9 in Prince George’s County a few years ago from Virginia, when the housing market was exploding and options for purchasing a home of my own were constrained by how far I was willing to drive to my mortgage. I grew up on a farm a few thousand miles from here, and the idea of living amongst horse farms in the suburbs appealed to me, although I should have thought through more carefully how that was a major indicator of the county’s problems. I’ve always been interested in politics, and after volunteering in recent local elections, I realized how critical it is for voters to choose competent elected officials to address the problems that have plagued this county for decades. However, in speaking to thousands of voters, I learned that most did not seem to make the connection between the county’s lagging economy, dilapidated schools, high taxes, and their local officials. They would get out to vote for their President, but didn’t feel motivated to vote where it counts most: those who are making decisions every day that affect our backyard. Blogging seemed like the only platform for sharing an insider’s perspective on how our local leaders maintain and pass on political power despite thin qualifications and a lack of real results. I want to talk about what motivates them, and how they are using our own electorate’s apathy as their tool for control. Although it may bring some disillusionment about the political process, my hope is that it will inspire my fellow Prince Georgians to think more carefully about their choices when they vote, and understand the tremendous importance of voting when it really counts: in local elections.