Why It's Important To Use Our Voices To Vote


*phone buzzes* BREAKING NEWS: 559 Migrant Children Still Separated After Zero-Tolerance Trump Administration Action

*phone buzzes* BREAKING NEWS: Trump Administration to Recommend the Disregard of Affirmative Action Policies

*phone buzzes* BREAKING NEWS: Trump Administration to Levy a Series of Tariffs Against China; Small Businesses Feeling the Pressure

*phone buzzes* BREAKING NEWS: Donald J. Trump to Appoint Supreme Court Justice; Roe v. Wade and Abortion Rights At Risk

These last two years have been incredibly draining.

It seems like every time we look at our phones, there is yet another news alert notifying us of a controversial action by the Trump Administration, many of which are attacks on a number of our rights and access to resources. There are moments that actions by this administration are so disenchanting, so draining, that it's hard to focus.

Every news alert is like a brick added to the daily load of stress we carry regarding our futures and the state of this country. It's hard to stay positive when the majority of political media coverage seems to point to impending doom, and it feels like there is little that we can do make a difference.

But, we have a powerful tool within our grasp: our votes.

Repeat after me: November 6, November 6, November 6. Put this date on a sticky note. Put this date in your calendar. November 6 is midterms elections and many states have primaries long before then. Get registered to vote so you can exercise your *constitutional right* and make an impact!

It's not enough to vote in the Presidential election every four years. What many fail to realize is that a majority of the figures and policies that impact our day to day lives, including police commissioners, school boards, local judges, zoning laws, etc., are made at the local level. Given the fact that the House, Senate, and White House are all majority controlled by Republicans, voting for our House and Senate representatives who can resist and/or fight against a number of controversial executive actions will play a tremendous role in re-instituting checks and balances.

Led by Michelle Obama and a number of sponsors, When We All Vote is a new initiative seeking to bolster the number of national voters before November midterms.

September 22 - 29 has been designated the Week of Action, where communities across the country will host voter registration events throughout the week in a variety of cities, both big and small. Key events will take place in: Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Chicago, Nashville, Houston Milwaukie, Miami, New York City, Atlanta, Baltimore, and Detroit on September 22.

Right now, if Beyonce were to announce free OTRII tickets to anyone who would wait in line within their respective city, the lines would wrap around the block. We need that same energy in November. A concert lasts a few hours, but our access to life-altering rights impacting our friends, neighbors, and families can last a generation.

It's no secret that black women have long been the backbone of a number of major political movements, particularly in recent history. A report from the Center for American Progress notes that 76% of black women cast their ballots in 2012, more than any other demographic in the country, and in 2016, black women led the Democratic vote with 94% voting against Trump.

Now in 2018, black women are breaking records: Stacy Abrams is seeking to become the first black female governor and an estimated several hundred black women are running for a number of local, federal, and statewide seats according to the Black Women in Politics database.

And, more than 140 women of all backgrounds, who are not incumbents, are currently making major moves in regards to their November political pursuits, from the House and Senate to mayor and governor races.

Women are showing up and showing out.

November is our chance to assert our voice and take a stand regarding what happens in our communities. But, you will need to register to vote before November in order to participate.

There is so much at stake during the upcoming midterm elections cycle, including but not limited to, immigration, gun control, affirmative action, reproductive health. This makes it clear that every vote counts.

This plea isn't about a particular candidate or party, as much as it is about feeling a responsibility to make a difference with your political participation. Register to vote, do your research, and don't give someone else the power to make decisions regarding your rights and future.

Your voice matters.

Learn more about voter registration by clicking here.

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