For the citizens of Ferguson, Missouri, that table, and others like it, may pack more punch than a street full of protestors.

The racially torn community has been at the heart of the nation's continuing discussion about civil rights. The backlash following the incident has revealed huge disparities, based on race, in arrests, traffic stops and searches and also highlighted the lack of diversity on the police force.

Short of mass civil disobedience or revolution, the best way to ensure that a government and its enforcement arm match the will of the community is to cultivate an active electorate.

The issues facing Park City and Summit County may not be as dramatic as those in Ferguson, but they are equally important to those of us who live here.

In fact, law enforcement will be a central part of the political discussion this fall leading up to the November General Election as Summit County vets two very different candidates for the sheriff's post. It will be the first time in 12 years that the sheriff's department will have new leadership since veteran Dave Edmunds chose not to seek re-election.

Significant issues related to land-use planning, education and finances will also be debated as county department heads, council members and school board leaders are selected. If you want your schools to be sensitive to your concerns, for example,grill the candidates in your neighborhood precinct before you go to the polls.


On a broader plane, Summit County citizens have the potential to swing a political hammer against the state's generally conservative majority by showing up to vote in a number of state legislative and congressional races.

And when we say Summit County citizens, we mean all Summit County citizens of all races, genders and political persuasions.

Arguably, if Ferguson leaders had begun their outreach into the black community earlier on, it would not be faced with the tragic cultural gulf that led to the recent violent protests.

Park City and Summit County have become increasingly diverse but our leadership does not yet match that diversity. Equal representation has to begin somewhere and the voter registration table is a great place to start.

For more information about how to register to vote, or how to help others register, call the Summit County Clerk's office, 435-336-3203 or go to: