The L.A. Times a couple of weeks ago wrote a hand-wringing story about a new poll showing that fewer California voters see local politics as worthwhile. The poll noted that local politics used to have a bit of a halo—people famously hated what they saw in Washington or Sacramento, but liked their own local officials and thought local political involvement was worthwhile.
But the findings of the LA Times/USC Dornsife poll showed disenchantment. More than a quarter of California voters say elected officials aren’t responsive to their needs. 49 percent said their community didn’t benefit when they donated money to a candidate. Fewer than 7 in 10 voters thought that volunteering for a candidate would help their community. The Times noted that there were still big consensuses on the community benefit of volunteering for civic groups (90 percent), discussing events (83 percent), and giving money to charity (84 percent).