With the general election for local leaders around the corner, state Sen. Lena Taylor, D-Milwaukee, gave a presentation Tuesday about the importance of staying engaged in politics throughout the entire year.

At an Urban League Young Professional meeting, Taylor discussed how people can become engaged in politics to make changes in their communities at the state and national level regarding issues they care about.

Communication is a one way to initiate change, Taylor said.

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At the Community Oriented Policing Houses in Racine, for example, the community to meet with police officers and work on solving issues, Taylor said. The partnership with the COP houses reduced violence in Racine by 67 percent.

“We know what works and we have to do that,” Taylor said. “We can’t help race relations if we don’t ever talk to people of another race.”

People should reach out to state legislators on issues like Medicare at the state level, Taylor said. They should also reach out to the governor on issues they care about.

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People also need to start by creating ideas if they want to make change, Taylor said. She brought up the example of a baby of an inmate at the Milwaukee County Jail dying in November 2016 while the inmate was in prison.

After talking to the individual about the incident, the individual helped Taylor find laws regarding that type of situation from a different state. Taylor’s office started to draft a bill the next day and said it is a priority for her in the coming session.

This all happened because of a single conversation, Taylor said.

People should communicate ideas they have to their elected officials, Taylor said. They should also talk about their ideas with officials who may not represent them, she added.

“Be engaged on the front end,” Taylor said. “Help to plant the seed. Help to mold the clay on what gets done.”