One of the great fallacies of contemporary political discussion is that the federal government is all that really matters. We hear so much about the president and Congress, but government does not stop there.

What happens at the General Assembly greatly impacts your life.

What happens at your City Council might impact your life the most of any of the levels of government. Why, then, do up to 30% of voters fail to fill out their entire ballot every election day?

Those are votes left on the table — votes that could have supported local politicians who share your values.

Fellow Democrats, I hope that you will join me in voting blue down to the bottom of the ticket this election day. It’s how we make our cities, and the Commonwealth, even greater than they already are.

After you vote for Tim Kaine for Senate, and then Elaine Luria for the House of Representatives, I will be one of the candidates that I hope you will be voting for November 6th. I’m running for city council in Virginia Beach. I have a feeling that you and I share a number of values that align with the values of the Democratic party.

I believe in cannabis reform. I want to see Virginia Beach do better when it comes to domestic violence. I believe in proactive solutions to adapt to sea level rise, like a modernized storm drain system. I am a champion of the small business over the international conglomerate, because I want to keep those tax dollars — and genuine local culture — right here in Virginia Beach. As the son of a veteran I want us to do a better job looking after our seniors and vets. As a proud member of the LGBT community, I want to make sure we protect the human rights of every member of our great city.

The Virginia Beach Democrats have endorsed Kaine and Luria, but they have also recommended a slate of candidates for Virginia Beach local elections who they feel best represent the values of the party. I’m honored to be one of them, in the Beach district. But don’t just vote for us.

I encourage you to fill the ballot with blue by also voting for Allison M. White for at-large member of city council. Vote for Dorothy M. Holtz and Seko B. Varner for at-large school board seats. Vote for Sharon R. Felton for the Beach district seat on the school board. And vote for Carolyn T. Rye for the Lynnhaven school board seat.

We best enact the values of equality, community, compassion, and sustainability by electing candidates at the local level who share those values, too.

As they say, all politics is local.

Please, fellow Democrats, on November 6th, don’t leave votes on the table. Fill the ballot with blue, from the top to the bottom.

Sponsored content by David Nygaard for Virginia Beach City Council