by Toni St John
2018 has been the year of the protest. The year of resistance within the people.
Women have set historic records with their annual march for equality, making men in their suits a little more intimidated than before. Black Lives Matter has continued their fight for aggressors who hide behind badges to be held accountable. March For Our Lives has used their platform as survivors and students to make sure no children have to fear that bullets may accompany their math tests. Red4Ed has petitioned to ensure that education is well-rounded and funded like lawmakers would want their own kids to have. Lastly, with a stimulus coming from genuine love for humanity and an anger at the inhumanity of the immigration system, Americans demanded an end to the destruction of families at the border. This year, people on every spectrum of race, class, age, and gender were seen coming together hand-in-hand for the bettering of this country.
This should give us hope, but it’s not quite enough.
No matter how much we scream or how many non-incentivized demands we make, the rooms where bills are passed remain soundproof and utterly tone-deaf. Regardless, there is hope.
There is hope in every eligible voter. There is hope in every volunteer persisting through extreme summer heat armed with voter registration forms and a clipboard. There is hope in engagement, not just in the streets but in the polling stations.
So, 2018 may be the year of the protest but it is also the year of the midterm elections. It is the year that we can elect officials who will represent us and not their private interests. We can elect those who work for their constituents and not their PAC donors. We can choose candidates who have been in our shoes and felt the pain we have felt not only for ourselves but for our brothers and sisters in this world. This year, we have options. We can elect the good guy.
Some say it’s idealistic but America has got to change and the only way to do that is to participate in the democracy that shapes practically every setting of our lives.
If you are:
A citizen of the United States;
At least 18 years old by Election Day;
Not disqualified from voting due to a court order; and.
Not under Department of Corrections supervision for a felony conviction.
You are eligible to vote and it is your civic responsibility to do so.
So, those 5 minutes you were going to spend listening to Ariana Grande’s new song or logging onto Tumblr, use them to register with the link below and take your opportunity to be an active member of our society. Be the change.