Here in the islands, we see those seeking office everywhere — at parties, funerals, walking or exercising, shopping, waving from the roadside — and at debates and forums.

Though candidates should be allowed to deal with the minutia of their own daily life, in many settings, your candidates are eager to hear your opinions and your questions — and if they are not, that’s a problem.

But it’s really their answers that matter.

Perennial concerns remain the same. Think health care and taxes.

In 2022, voters are concerned about wages — whether they are an employer or an employee.

Voters are concerned about the rise in the cost of living, whether they are a business juggling the increase in expenses, or a resident experiencing sticker shock in the market or supermarket.

Voters are concerned about tourism and whether it will return and if so, how quickly.

Everybody is concerned that our islands are safe places to live. 

Dealing with constituent issues is not easy, though two-year terms should be enough for legislators to be accustomed to speaking with a variety of people, since they do so at bill hearings, at events and to the media.

The least you can expect is that an official has some point of view on the issues of the day. The most is that his or her opinion resonates with your own.

There are some issues where officials vote along party lines, and some where they do not – showing they are capable of independent thought.

In the runup to the general elections, the Journal encourages you to take an opportunity to attend a forum, debate, or pocket meeting in your community.

Sometimes the topics of the questions posed by a moderator are predictable and sometimes they are not. But typically, some and hopefully many of the answers will be on issues that concern you — especially as you head to the polls.

Read a paper. Listen to the radio. Watch TV or YouTube. Take the opportunity to form your own opinion. mbj