I’m writing again today to talk to you about something VERY important, and that’s your vote. Wait – don’t click away yet. I’m not gonna launch into any spiels about the presidential candidates. At this point, I think you’ve probably made up your mind about those two folks. I’m hearing from a lot of people, though, that because both Clinton and Trump are terrible, they’re just not going to vote at all. That’s what I’d like to talk about today.
Don’t do it! Show up!
Here’s why: Elections are SO important, and arguably it’s the stuff happening in your state that is way more important to your daily life than whoever is currently shouting mean things on the TV about Washington. I can’t speak for other states, but California is electing a new congresswoman for the first time in almost 25 years; the legislature is asking if they should pursue a repeal of Citizen’s United; and there are three (or more, if you want to count the legalization of marijuana one in there) propositions that will decide what our penal systems look like for the next decade or more. That stuff is something you should weigh in on, that will impact you directly.
And, guess what? You don’t have to vote for or against everything on your ballot. Don’t like Hilary and don’t like Trump? Leave the presidential question blank and vote wholeheartedly and gleefully for your senate candidate. Don’t care at all about plastic bags? Leave that one blank too. It’s okay to vote for some things and not other things.
For example (I don’t want to tell you who to vote for or anything, but…) I’m a HUGE fan of Pete Aguilar, my state congressman. He runs job fairs all over the place, supports Planned Parenthood, has written a lot of laws that help small local businesses, and sent me a very nice letter after I contacted him about gun control. I mean, his mom helps him campaign. I can fill the dot in next to his name without doom and gloom feelings that I’m picking the lesser of two evils. I genuinely am so glad that man represents me.
There’s something to be excited about in this election. Maybe it’s not the top of the ticket, but it’s not buried that far down. I promise.
You still have the whole weekend to look at everything and make a decision on how you feel. I urge you to at least give it a trial. League of Women Voters and NPR both have non-partisan information on propositions and candidates if you just put in your address, which I always find is a good place to start. Your work is required to give you time off to get to a polling place near you. You can do this. I believe in you.
And thank you. This whole ‘having a democratic country’ thing works much better when all of us are participating.
That’s my two cents.