5 Ways to Get Involved in Local Government in Erie County, NY

Learn about the different ways you can get involved in local government in Erie County, NY and have a say in the decisions that affect your community.

5 Ways to Get Involved in Local Government in Erie County, NY

As a resident of Erie County, NY, I have seen firsthand the impact that local government decisions can have on our community. That's why I believe it's important for every citizen to get involved and have their voice heard. Here are five ways you can get involved in local government in Erie County.

Understanding Local Government in Erie County

Before diving into how you can get involved, it's important to have a basic understanding of the local government structure in Erie County. The county is divided into three cities (Buffalo, Lackawanna, and Tonawanda) and 25 towns and villages.

Each city has its own government, while the towns and villages fall under the jurisdiction of the county government. The county government is made up of elected officials, including the County Executive, County Legislature, and various department heads. These officials are responsible for making decisions that affect the entire county, such as budget allocations and policy changes.

Attend Local Government Meetings

One of the most direct ways to get involved in local government is by attending meetings. These can include town hall meetings, city council meetings, and county legislature meetings. These meetings are open to the public and provide an opportunity for residents to voice their opinions and concerns. Before attending a meeting, it's important to do some research on the topics that will be discussed.

This will allow you to come prepared with questions or comments. You can also sign up to speak during public comment periods at these meetings.

Join a Citizen Advisory Board

Erie County has several citizen advisory boards that provide recommendations and advice to the county government on various issues. These boards cover a wide range of topics, including economic development, environmental conservation, and human rights. Joining a citizen advisory board allows you to have a more direct impact on local government decisions. You can apply to join a board by filling out an application on the county's website.

Volunteer for a Local Campaign

Local elections are an important part of the democratic process and volunteering for a local campaign is a great way to get involved in local government.

You can volunteer for a candidate that aligns with your values and help them get elected into office. Volunteer opportunities can include canvassing, phone banking, and helping with events. Not only will you be supporting a candidate you believe in, but you will also gain a better understanding of the political process.

Stay Informed and Engaged

In order to effectively participate in local government, it's important to stay informed and engaged in local issues. This can include reading local news sources, attending community events, and joining neighborhood associations. You can also sign up for email updates from your local government officials or follow them on social media. This will keep you informed about upcoming meetings, events, and important decisions being made.

Vote in Local Elections

Perhaps the most important way to get involved in local government is by exercising your right to vote in local elections.

Your vote has the power to shape the future of your community and hold elected officials accountable for their actions. Make sure to research the candidates and their stances on important issues before heading to the polls. You can also attend candidate forums or debates to hear directly from the candidates themselves.


Getting involved in local government in Erie County, NY is not only a way to make a difference in your community, but it also allows you to have a say in the decisions that affect your daily life. By attending meetings, joining citizen advisory boards, volunteering for campaigns, staying informed and engaged, and voting in local elections, you can play an active role in shaping the future of your county.

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