I have been going to the polls since I can remember. My parents voted before work and made a point of taking my brother and me so that we knew the significance. In high school, my friends and I worked at the precincts, putting up signs, canvassing and handing out fliers. My grandfather, who obtained the right to vote later in life also emphasized the importance, much to my families disdain at times. He always told me the process isn’t perfect but you have to vote and you have to trust the process because it is what we have for now. When President Obama was campaigning, my new husband and I canvassed, knocked on doors, registered people to vote and encouraged people to vote early. We also went to Grant Park that evening as he gave his acceptance speech. Furthermore, it was my grandfather’s final vote before he passed away in 2010. He was proud of President Obama but just as proud of me for becoming passionate about a candidate and standing up for my decision.
As I grew into adulthood, I knew I wanted to do something in policy which explains my choice of a master’s degree in public administration. I have always been engaged, or I guess we should say “woke” enough to know that policy begins with our local politicians who are the people who speak on behalf of our communities. Even though my beliefs may not always align with the elected candidates, I still trust the process and expect everyone to get involved in it. As a mother, the current political climate has triggered more of an awakening in me. The reasons are simple – the people we elect now directly impact the futures of my/our children. It can all get a little noisy with the hateful ads and the ambiguous debates so it helps to summarize. No matter which side of the aisle you are on, these are issues that affect us now and will impact our future.
Gender equality is not just equal pay, but it also measures the way that individuals are treated in the workplace and in educational institutions. The most significant parts of this are the pay gap and the fact that even though men and women do the same job, they are not paid the same. The goal is to equalize treatment, beginning with pay.
Race relations shouldn’t be partisan but definitely are still very partisan. As a mother of a black son, this is one that I am super passionate about because fair is fair. Racial tensions in our country are at an all-time high. What we want to see is a lack of tribalism on this issue and for us to come to a consensus. Make sure that the candidates have at least an idea of how to unite a somewhat divided USA not just for now but for generations to come.
Being informed on your states gun laws will be important this election cycle. Not because people don’t have the right to own guns, but because our legislation may be too loose. Therefore whoever you choose to vote for, find out what their stance is on regulations and keeping our children safe.
There is no reason that when children get sick they shouldn’t have healthcare. Well, believe it or not, it is a HUGE part of this election cycle. Whether you agree with the Affordable Care Act or not, vote for candidates with viable solutions.
November 6th, 2018 you have a choice, you can stay at home, or you can exercise your right to vote. I know people say if you don’t vote, don’t complain. However, if you don’t vote you are not exercising your right to participate in democracy. Remember your children are watching you, and depending on you to make the correct decision for you and your family.