There have been remarkable leaps and bounds of young people reclaiming our government. We are voting in higher numbers and regularly taking to the streets to strike and to protest. Yet still far too many of us believe our votes do not matter. And we get it.
We know that this belief is not rooted in apathy but rather from a very deep reality that inside city halls, state capitals, and the chambers of Congress, elected officials make decisions about our bodies, lives, and futures without listening to our voices. It is rooted in the reality that on the campaign trail, we are promised change that counts everybody in, but in session, we are dealt legislation that negotiates people out.
We can change this. We have to change this.
We do that through voting AND through the actions we take every day before, on, and after election day.
It is the work we do before election day that ensures campaign promises reflect us and the future we are determined to create. It is the voting we do on election day that ensures we fill the seats of power with partners in progress. It is the lobbying, the protests and strikes, the die-ins and call outs we do every day after election day that turn campaign promises into legislation into the realities we live.
Election day is not the end of the road, but the beginning of a new fight. A fight that becomes easier when elected officials share in our vision and use their position to amplify our voices in the movement for change.
And we have the power to determine who holds those positions. A candidate’s victory hinges upon our decisions to show up and be heard. They don’t have a job without us and they cannot keep their job without leading for us. Your vote, or your ability to organize and mobilize voters, is therefore inherently powerful.