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Fighting the Good Fight Locally

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Image Courtesy of Amy Wolfinbarger

“You win some and you lose some” is a cliché, but like many clichés, it also happens to be true. Over the course of a lifetime there will be many triumphs and many setbacks and countless times when you land somewhere in between.

This is just as true in politics as anywhere else. Some of our readers may remember the name Amy Wolfinbarger. The driving force behind cannabis decriminalization in Norwood, Ohio, she recently ran for city council in the same town.

Unfortunately, Amy came up short in her attempt to gain a seat on the council, and lower-than-usual turnout didn’t help. “With my opponent being a lifelong Norwood resident, I knew winning would be difficult,” Amy told The Marijuana Times. “However, with Sensible Norwood passing by an overwhelming margin just last year, my hope was to get the cannabis voters to the polls. Sadly, compared to the last two mayoral election cycles, voter turnout was significantly decreased.  Ward 4 has 3,119 total registered voters. Only 884 ballots were cast. That’s about a 28% voter turnout in my ward. I am very proud that I only lost by less than 100 votes.”

The low turnout is even more unfortunate, Amy told us, because those who do vote locally tend to be older folks. “Studies show that in municipal elections the largest demographic who cast votes are those aged 63 and older. Basically today’s youngest voters are allowing their grandparents to set policy where they live. Not that grandparents aren’t cool, but our socio-economic status is not what it used to be.”

In the end, Amy said she is “extremely grateful for the experience. I learned a lot about myself along the way.  The biggest thing I learned was that I am definitely not a politician. I found being ‘politically correct’ to be extremely difficult and even though I believe I remained true to myself, I almost felt as if I was holding myself back.”

With new experiences under her belt and new perspectives, Amy is already thinking about her next steps. “I want to thank everyone who has supported me through my candidacy as well as in my many years of cannabis activism,” Amy told us. “I am happy with the outcome of the election and I don’t feel that I lost in any way. There is only so much time and there is still much to be done. Lately the universe seems to be pushing me more towards the criminal reform aspect of cannabis activism I feel compelled to take a more active role in that. People should not be in prison or jail over an herb that over half of the country’s population can now purchase legally. We have to work to free the plant prisoners and we must also stand and support those facing imprisonment or the loss of any right than infringes upon our freedom to choose.”

Amy told us that the passion for her neighbors and community that caused her to get involved in politics in the first place was only made stronger by her recent campaign. If you live in the southwest Ohio area and want to get involved with Amy and local activism, you can learn more here and here.

Local elections are important, and so is picking yourself up after a setback and charting a new course. These are both things that Amy Wolfinbarger knows very well.

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