By Thomas Sheffield
The three stages of voting are registration, education and participation. Throughout this nation’s history, people have fought and died in order to vote. Historically, only white men who were land owners could vote. The 15th Amendment to the US Constitution gave all men the right to vote. Not until the 19th Amendment was passed in 1920 did women have the right to vote. Just because you have the right, does not mean you are able to vote. There are actions taken by local and state governments to take that right away from the undervalued, underestimated and marginalized. Reason being, your vote is the great equalizer and is very valuable.
Please make sure you are registered to vote. Everyone in your household 18 and older should be registered. Everyone on your street, your block and in your community should value their ability to have their voices to be heard. Next, we should be knowledgeable about the issues and how they will affect us. Be sure to understand the issues. Those in power will use whatever tools they have to make you vote against your self-interest. We must learn the issues and how candidates feel about the issues and vote accordingly. No one group should take our votes for granted.
Your vote is just as important as my vote. Our votes are just as valuable as anyone’s regardless of your age, race, sex, occupation, financial status, whether you are a land owner, house owner, renter, doctor, entrepreneur or unemployed. The problem is we do not exercise this option and the rich continue to stay healthy while the sick stay poor. We have an election this year which gives us an opportunity to make serious changes to our condition. Our issues are not just national but local. We have a chance to hold our leaders and our local police departments accountable to how they treat our residents. This active participation will not lesson but add to the value of our community.
100 weeks ago, the electoral college installed the current administration. In less than two years, we have seen drastic cuts in education, safety, housing, healthcare and the protection of the environment. Last week we saw Judge Brett Kavanaugh appointed to the US Supreme Court. This was done in spite of accusations of sexual misconduct. If you were against his nomination, and the dismantling of the federal programs, there is an opportunity to make drastic changes come November 6th. Let’s continue to be active past election day by staying in contact with our representatives. If you are looking for a way to keep up with the issues, there’s an app for that. I recommend you download the 5 Calls App. This app can help turn passive participation into active resistance. It will advise you on who to call regarding issues going on when change is needed. Check tnmap.tn.gov to make sure you are still registered.
Please feel free to contact me firstname.lastname@example.org or you can follow me on Twitter @tcsheff. #Resist #WordsActionChange