The same amount of time it takes to click on this article and read this sentence is equivalent to the time it takes to register to vote; so do it.
For me, voting isn’t an option — I do it. To my surprise, many of my family and friends have mixed feelings about participating in politics this year. There are more eyes on the presidential election as tensions are rising in the political climate. The country needs its people to step up to the plate now more than ever.
To anyone who has ever doubted their decision to vote in this election, here are my thoughts:
“I don’t like either of the candidates this year, so I’m not voting.”
No candidate will ever be perfect for everybody. Choose the one that resonates with your values and beliefs more. At the end of the day, one of them will be chosen. Pick the one that leans closer to your interests; your vote matters more than you think.
“The next generation will save us.”
These issues apply right now; there is no reason to wait for others to fix a broken system tomorrow when lives are at stake today. We are the next generation and we should want to save the generations that follow. If you’re dissatisfied with where the country is, familiarize yourself with its politics and how we got here.
“This country is not made for people like me, so I’m not voting.”
It is true; rich, white men benefit the most from the system. According to the Reflective Democracy Campaign, 65% of elected seats are held by white men nationally.
The concept of the American dream is flawed; there is not an equal opportunity for prosperity and success. Do not be oblivious to the lack of opportunity given to people of color and the gender inferiority complex in our system. We need to change that by voting people into office who recognize this. This country is a work in progress. The change will only happen with participation.
Many who argue that California is not a competitive state in the electoral college fail to realize that the election extends further than the potential president. On the ballot this year, some propositions will affect the lives of low-income people and people of color. Here are a few propositions that will be on the ballot this year:
Proposition 17 would restore the right to vote for people on parole. According to Prison Policy, there are more than 870,000 people on parole in California alone. All of those voices are being silenced right now. Institutionalized racism exists and many people who are on parole are Black and brown folk.
Proposition 16, would repeal Proposition 209, allowing the state to consider race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin in public education, public employment and public contracting. This is one of the most controversial propositions, affecting the lives of many people seeking higher education and job opportunities.
This initiative would allow schools to take into consideration the demographics of the school during the hiring process. For example, if a school has a majority Black demographic, institutions will have the ability to hire faculty and staff that resembles their students. Structural and institutionalized racism is prevalent in all levels of education and work force — it cannot be ignored any longer.
Proposition 21 expands on allowing local governments to control rent. According to Cal Matters, supporters of this bill argue that passing limits on rent increases will protect families from being driven from their houses, reducing gentrification and homelessness.
To anybody who does not feel the need to participate in politics, you are privileged. It is selfish that a person can live their life knowing that they will not be affected by any policy changes made in the country. The livelihood of millions of people is at stake. It is a social responsibility to be a part of the change that we want to see.
For more information on the other propositions that are being voted on this election, visit https://calmatters.org/election-2020-guide/.
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