Information is the currency of democracy. Thomas Jefferson

Why local politics?

The mainstream media is focused on national politics: capturing our attention with breaking news, divisive headlines, and divisive social feeds.

But local and state politics are different. Maybe you still get barraged with political ads but local candidates are accessible. You can actually speak to them!

Local political information, however, is less accessible. Finding information on local and state candidates should not only be easy, it should be put in the context of how elections affect governance and communities. At a minimum, voters deserve basic candidate information in one place.

Who made this site?

Toshy Penton

I have a background in marketing and a passion for local politics.

When my family moved to Charlottesville in 1995, we rented a house on Moseley Drive, not far from the Food Lion down 5th Street. The following year, my parents managed to secure a loan and we moved to Crozet. I proceeded to move through the Albemarle County school system: Crozet Elementary, Henley, and Western, before heading to Blacksburg to attend Virginia Tech. After graduating, I returned to Charlottesville and fell into marketing.

Leading up to the 2022 U.S House election, I started researching the candidates. I was surprised at how long it took to collect enough basic information to decide how I’d vote. I found some great resources along the way (e.g. VPAP), but I was confused to find little information on the candidates.

Since last year’s election, I’ve continued down the rabbit hole of local and state politics. Despite finding that local and state governments and politicians wield significant influence, money, and power, their information is scattered across numerous difficult-to-navigate sources. It’s no wonder we pay far more attention to national politics — the media landscape is vast and well-funded.

For local and state politics, however, if you’re not “plugged in,” where do you start? Understanding Virginia’s political landscape requires a familiarity with our state’s government, its laws, and its politicians, each of which receive little media attention. My hope is that this website can simplify local and state political information to help Virginians wanting a voice.