October 28, 2014

Importance of Your Vote

By Senator Lena C. Taylor

Election Day is just around the corner, and this election I’m calling on everyone in the community to get out there and vote!  Franklin D. Roosevelt once said, “Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves, and the only way they could do this is by not voting.”  We know when our community shows up to the polls the election results change.

The most relevant issues right now revolve around our community, including everything from jobs, education funding, to accessible healthcare. Our community is suffering from chronic unemployment, ask high as 56% percent in some areas of the city. There has been a lack of investment in our businesses and development in our community. 85% of our children can’t read on grade level, yet the Governor has cut education funding in Wisconsin more than any governor in the United States.  Scott Walker has refused to accept federal dollars and fully expand Medicaid.  This fiscally reckless mistake has cost our state taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars and resulted in the loss of healthcare for 38,000 Wisconsinites.  It is unacceptable.  But Wisconsin still has a chance to make the right decision in the next state budget.  You have the chance to participate in these decisions by voting.  By electing representatives and a Governor that share your beliefs, you are voicing your own opinions and effectively making your voice heard.  So speak up!  Share how you feel about the education cuts, dismantling of unions, attempts to push Wisconsin back to the Jim Crow era with voter ID law, or Scott Walker’s job creation failure.  If you want to see a change in our state, you need to be the change.

Our community’s vote proved its potential to make a difference in past elections, specifically the 2012 presidential election.  In fact, it was one of the main deciding factors in that election. 87% of register voters turned out to vote in the November 2012 elections. Our vote had a huge impact on the 2012 election, and it will li have an even bigger impact on the upcoming election.  While voting for president is very important, voting in state and local elections is crucial. Those elected at the state and local levels have a direct effect on shaping the policy at the city, county, and state levels. These are the policies that matter most for our day to day lives. There is so much on the line in this election and we must make sure our voices are heard.

If nothing else, simply vote because you can.  The right to vote is an incredible gift.  It is the right to participate, to speak, to believe.  It is the only say many of us have in the allocation of resources.  So me must show up to the polls with everyone we know to exercise our right and civic responsibility to vote. For more information on the process or to register to vote, visit: myvote.wi.gov.  Get out there and vote this Election Day.