Even though tomorrow isn’t a official holiday in the U.S., it’s totally worth celebrating. It’s Election Day!
It’s very easy to get cynical about politics – I live in the D.C. area, after all – but it’s still worth it to participate, especially if you’re a parent. Decisions made on a national level about clean energy, climate change, health care, poverty, and agriculture can affect the country and world for generations to come. Elected leaders at the state and local level influence how our cities and suburbs grow, how we move around them (including how safe it is for children to walk and bike), what industries thrive, and how clean the air and water is. Even the smallest, most local elections can affect your daily life. For example, school boards have a huge influence over the curriculum and structure of our schools.
In addition to the direct impact of voting, it sets a great example for your kids. I have fond memories of standing in the voting booth with my parents and pulling the big, old-fashioned red metal lever that registered the votes. I’m sure that seeing my parents participate in the democratic process seeded much of my community involvement today. Voting with your kids shows them that you’re invested in the future of your community and they should be too.
Now, if you are a regular reader, you can probably guess my politics. Despite that, I won’t tell you to vote the Democratic Party line. For one, some Democrats are terrible leaders (I’m looking at you, Andrew Cuomo). Secondly, most of their politics are way too conservative for my taste, even it’s often the best our system has to offer. But most importantly, I would never recommend that because no one should ever unthinkingly vote the party line. If you haven’t already (I admit, I haven’t), do some research into the candidates before stepping into the booth. Every community has different needs – make sure our system can serve yours appropriately.
So go out there and vote tomorrow! If you don’t know where your local polling station is, you can look it up on Google. And when you finish, wear your “I voted” sticker with pride.