When you vote, you are seen and you are heard. This November, they will hear us.
Throughout time, there has always been an inherent disconnect between the hopeful ideals of the youth and the antiquated focus and vested interests of those in charge. No matter how you look at it, it nearly impossible to avoid thinking of things in an us vs. them situation. But before you dismiss your importance as single voice and write off your civic responsibility as a futile attempt to be heard, just know that this country was founded on rebellion, new ideas and the power of the people for the pursuit of happiness and liberty. Those powdered wig-wearing patriots and rebels may not seem like the most likely of allies, but no matter how you want to look at it, it was their foresight and those revolutionary ideals that still, to this day, give us the right to speak freely, protest that which we find unjust, and use proper, legal avenues to change policies to correspond with these changing times.
And this all begins with your vote. So, whether you find yourself in tune with the status quo or at odds with the country’s direction, it’s imperative you do your part. Sure it’s easy to be overwhelmed and discouraged. Of course there’s that seeming futility that many of us may never be able to shake. But let’s put it this way. Who do you respect the most in life? Whose opinions matter more to you than anyone else? Who do you want to grow up to be like? Well, whether it’s your mom, Michael Jordan, Dave Chappelle or Beyonce, their vote holds the same weight as yours, and you can bet they exercise their privilege and civil duty.
Remember, it’s not just about picking the next president you should be concerned about. Think about the importance of state elections. Whether it’s you next mayor, governor, senator, or even local comptroller, each one of these positions can directly affect you and your day.
It takes all kinds of people. And we may not all get along or have the same opinions, but there is power in your opinion. So make sure you stand up and make it count. Whether you’re that quiet, reserved, educated kid in the corner who keeps to themselves, or someone who takes to the streets to protest injustice and rally support around a cause, citizen participation can take many shapes, but the most important one is voting. Generations fought long and hard to make sure we have the privilege to be heard and counted. You owe it to them, you owe it to yourself and you owe it to this country (and the world) to do your part. Take the time, take an interest and take action.
It would be nearly impossible to know every candidate on the ballot, let alone what they stand for. So instead of flipping a coin or picking the person with the most intriguing name, take a brief moment to educate yourself on your options. For the most comprehensive and unbiased information on those running for both local and national offices, we recommend checking out websites like https://www.ballotready.org/ and Ballotpedia.org . Besides providing extensive information on each candidate and letting you know where they stand on important issues, where else are you going to find objectivity in something as divisive as politics?