Your Vote Matters

The last six months have been difficult, sometimes nearly impossible to navigate. From pregnancy through the school years, parents have been forced into major changes that as recent as the new year we would have never deemed possible. We have asked our children to adapt and then adapt again as our scientific understanding of SARS-CoV2 evolved in real-time and new rules to limit its spread took hold across the country. Many children have lost parents, grandparents, or caretakers as we approach 210,000 American lives lost. Children of color have been disproportionately impacted, leaving entire families decimated.

While there have been measures to ease the burden of a virus that is not their fault, children continue to be impacted economically and emotionally by the fallout. Many parents work in fear that the virus will leave their children orphaned or their family bankrupt if they were to become sick. People without paid sick leave are working while ill in order to make enough money to pay rent, fearing homelessness but putting coworkers and their communities at risk.

In the span of seven months every systemic weakness has been illuminated, every societal breakpoint fractured. Rebuilding will mean strengthening our social supports for families and children. It will mean discussing how Americans access their healthcare and how our society ensures that everyone has access to healthcare in times of crisis. It means looking at how Internet access is delivered to our struggling communities and making sure every household with a child learner has the ability to get online for class. Rebuilding means looking not only at our national leadership but also our local leaders. We will need to pay close attention to our school boards, town councils, and state legislators as their decisions impact us on a daily basis.

This happens when we engage in our community by communicating with our elected (or appointed) leaders and letting them know what is working or not working for families. Shouting on social media might make us feel good but an email or phone call to an elected official is far more impactful than a like or mad face. Registering to vote and then voting in each election ensures that the voices of parents and caregivers cannot be ignored. With voting already started in many places, from now until Tuesday, November 3, we will have the opportunity to determine who will represent our families in local, state and national government. These people will be in charge of determining the health, environmental and educational standards for our children. I would argue that this is the most important election for children in United States history. Please vote—be the voice of your children and ensure their future is better—they have sacrificed enough.

To learn more about voting in your state, visit Vote.org, the largest non-profit, non-partisan voting rights organization in the country.

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