That is our city hall. Or that is what our city hall used to look like. It is getting an extensive exterior renovation. The finished product should look a lot like the original. That is the plan. It is important to take care of this symbol of government in Milwaukee. But what goes on inside this building is most important to our city’s future. What is going on downtown? We have a mayor finishing his first term with little opposition going into this election season. There will be change on the Common Council. The Third Aldermanic District is up for grabs. The Sixth District is in turmoil, with Mike McGee going to trial, but he will be on the ballot, and a slew of candidates are lined up to replace him. The presidential primaries grab the largest share of the major media coverage, but when the snow flies who makes sure it gets plowed? Not Clinton or Obama. Get my drift? Though national issues are important, democracy starts here. Someone said, “All politics is local.” We will try to cover what is going on in the Sixth District election and give you more information about the candidates for the Third District in the February issue of the Currents. There are eight candidates that we know of for Milwaukee’s Third District seat on the Common Council. Seven of them have submitted an answer to the question posed on the cover of this issue. Andrew Twist, one of the announced candidates, is not included. We could not connect with Andrew in time to include his answer, but will be glad to do that in the next issue if he is interested. Thank you to all the candidates who put time and effort into sharing their views on an important topic. That topic is about the Hometown site on the edge of the river at North Avenue – not necessarily what gets built on that site, but rather how the candidates would deal with a complex issue. Please read their submissions. This is a chance to get a glimpse into the thought processes of a possible decision-maker. Make an informed choice when you vote. Attend a forum, read our coverage, check out the candidates’ web sites. Get to know the candidates as much as possible. Whoever gets elected is going to become your new best friend in City Hall. Vote in the primary on Tuesday February 19 and in the general election on Tuesday April 1. The presidential primary and aldermanic primary is in February but we will be electing new officials for the Common Council in April. All those local issues that people gripe about are the concern of our local officials. The local campaign season is short, so pay attention. Unlike the national campaign which will drag on until next November, the local campaign will be over April 1. Don’t be an April fool. Be an informed, involved, participating citizen in our democracy.