Eyes from around the globe will be watching the United States on Tuesday as Americans select their next president. This exercise of popular power is the envy of the world, and we encourage all registered voters to take advantage of the opportunity.

The presidential election promises to be extremely close, with President Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney running even in national polls. Though the electoral college decides the presidency and it wouldn’t appear California is a toss-up state, it is nonetheless vital that Californians let their voice be heard.

As important as the race for the White House is, other races and issues may have more immediate impact on our community. California Propositions 30 and 38 both would boost school funding by raising taxes on working Californians, presenting voters with a chance to send a pivotal message about their priorities for the state. Other propositions take on hot-button issues from the death penalty to funding transportation projects in Los Angeles.

We voters will also choose who will represent us in state government, for the first time using boundaries drawn up by a citizens’ commission tasked with creating legislative maps without the self-interested contributions of incumbent lawmakers.

These representatives have the power to address problems as small as a broken curb strip and as large as the state’s multi-billion deficit. Their role is important, and we all should honor our own role in shaping our government by casting our votes on or before Nov. 6.