By Thomas Sheffield

What issues do you care about?  Is it jobs, wages, healthcare, the environment, education, security, a border wall, abortion, the deficit, guns or taxes?  Another question is what do you plan on doing about it?  Did you vote? Are you going to vote? Tennessee came in at 47th in voter turnout in 2016.  Voter turnout was only 55%.  If this does not change, we are screwed.  

The last 50 plus years show Democrats lean more toward supporting social programs. What is on the ballot?  Immigration policy is on the ballot in every state this year.  We must not forget that over 200 children are still not with their parents even after a court mandate to reunite the families was given earlier this year.   

Social programs are on the ballot in every state this year.  Public education and public programs that are really important to those of us who are undervalued, under estimated and marginalized is on the ballot this year.  

Tax reform which gives tax breaks to big corporations is on the ballot in every state this year.  These corporations are responsible for paying our salaries but I bet you have not seen a substantial raise that corresponds with the tax cuts.  These same corporations are responsible for using the tax-paid infrastructure and polluting our air and water.  

Prison reform and crime is also on the ballot in every state this year.  Reinstating the voting rights of people that pay taxes is also very important to the people in our community.  If we do not vote, We Are Screwed!!!

Over 100 million people did not vote in 2016 election.  This is shameful.  It is also shameful to see many people in our community are not aware of how this election will effect the everyday lives of all Americans.  The matters are not only national but they  are local.  So many of the issues are on the state, city and community levels.   

I cannot tell you how to vote but let’s look at some facts.  USA Today recently ranked the states from poorest to richest by the median household income figures from the US Census Bureau.  State by state numbers reflect the wealthier states are mostly under Democratic control, while most of the poorest states are almost exclusively governed by the Republican Party.   Republicans control both chambers of the legislatures in 8 of the 19 poorest states.  9 of the 10 poorest states also have Republican governors.  Tennessee is 41st with the median income of $51,340 and a poverty rate of 15% which is the 10th highest.  Tennessee’s neighbors Kentucky is 44th, Alabama 45th, Arkansas 48th and Mississippi 49th when it comes to median income.  All of these states are the reddest states in the country.  

The fastest and only way to change the status is to vote.  When we all vote and seek change, then it will be so.  I urge you to vote and urge others to vote too.  If we don’t vote, then We Are Screwed!!!  

Please feel free to contact me or you can follow me on Twitter @tcsheff. #Resist #WordsActionChange