ballot box calls- 11.5.12
I am going to add my voice to the many thousands out there who are urging people to cast their vote – and I am going to ask that young women, in particular, heed this call. I know we are all weary. I know there is none among us who would prefer this election season drag on.
This summer, after almost three decades in the United States, I became a citizen. I am not going to bore you with the reasons why it took me so long to take this step. Those reasons don’t have a place here.
What I do want to say is that as a newly minted citizen (and as someone who came here at a young enough age that I was never able to vote in any election in any country, until now) the responsibility of actively participating in this democracy is awesome to me.
Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis once said (and I am paraphrasing here) that there is only one job more powerful than that of president – that of citizen. Think about that – you and I, and millions like us, have the most powerful job in the nation. We have the responsibility and the power to shape all the tomorrows, for ourselves, our neighbors, our children.
And as a woman the responsibility is even greater. It was only a mere 92 years ago that women in this country were granted the right to vote and given access to the full force of what citizenship means. That is not all that long ago. You probably know someone who was alive when the 19th Amendment passed.
The women (and men) who fought for suffrage should be honored. Our girls and young women should be educated and reminded that the rights we enjoy today came to be through the sacrifices of generations of women before us. We need to remind ourselves that not casting our ballot squanders an opportunity that women like Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Stanton worked so hard to afford us.
We are not, by a long shot, where we need to be as women when it comes to elected positions. We need to continue to fight for equality for all – women and men from all walks of life.
But it starts Election Day – with this one simple, powerful act: vote! I know I will.
Monday November, 5, 2012
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