Friday, October 14, 2016

Hope in a tough season

Here at the bitter end (that seems the right adjective, doesn't it?) of this nasty campaign, it is great to share a story from someone for whom taking part is an occasion for hope.

Yaritza Garcia is too young to vote herself and her family members are undocumented. But she believes it will make the lives of her family and friends better if she works to get those who can vote out to the polls.

Young people of color are always told that we don’t know what is happening around us. I was told that I wouldn’t be able to make a change for myself or other people around me. But I feel voting gives me the freedom to prove them otherwise. One vote can always make a difference.

Many people don’t get the chance to vote since they don’t have legal status or they aren’t citizens. My mother and sister are not allowed to vote. Despite living here for decades, they never get the opportunity to vote and improve their quality of life. That’s why young voters of color need to vote. People of color are the majority of the population in California. However, most youth of color find it difficult to vote because work, school, and other priorities come first. But also voting information, like the propositions and how they impact communities, is not reaching them in a way that speaks to them. In a way, elections are set up in a way so that we don’t go vote. We are convinced that our votes don’t matter, therefore, we uphold the stereotype that we don’t care.

But if young voters of color aren’t turning out to vote, then who is going to help us get our voices and opinions to matter during elections? ... Can we continue to stand on the sidelines while others vote for us?

Ms. Garcia is a member of Californians for Justice, the organization to which so many readers of this blog contributed last summer.

For those of us who have been around too many political laps, cynicism is easy and safe. But refusing to hope can be self-indulgence; young people remind us to get over ourselves.

1 comment:

Brandon said...

"[W]hile others vote for us"

A reminder that one can vote for those who can't vote: children, non-citizens, et al.

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