“We the People” = You and Me


Today is Election Day across the US. In Portland, our ballot is short, with a few bond measures to decide on. But elsewhere, voters have big decisions to make. Statewide elections in Kentucky and Mississippi will determine new governors, and Virginia voters are deciding on the makeup of their state legislature.

I’ve been on a political odyssey since the 2016 election. Before then, I barely paid attention to politics. I voted, I scanned the headlines, but didn’t go much beyond that. Life was full of more important, more interesting, more urgent matters to attend to.

Now, it’s a totally different ballgame. I now see democracy for what it has always been: government by the people. And we’re the people. And I’m part of that we.

These days I do more than vote. I talk to my friends about voting. I call my elected representative (which means I first had to learn who my representative is!). I also learned who my Oregon state representatives are, and how calling them has a bigger potential impact on my life and the lives of my neighbors than calling Washington, DC.

Less passive news consumption (because the news is overwhelming), more active engagement.

It’s not like politics is my hobby or full-time job. My life is full of family, work, volunteering, interests, and friends. The difference is, political participation is now part of my everyday life. I see it as vital — a responsibility, a privilege.

And I see just how much impact we can have when we work together.

Have you voted yet? If not, decide when you’ll head to the polls or drop off your ballot today. Set an alarm, and then do it.

Art by Lisa Congdon, print for sale on Etsy. Lisa gave me permission to post this on Instagram. I’m reposting here so you can be inspired, too.

I’m blogging every weekday in November for #NaBloPoMo2019 — National Blog Posting Month. Join us! For more info, check out the kickoff announcement and the #NaBloPoMo2019 FAQ.

Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

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  • Yay! I dropped off my ballot yesterday and it does feel great. Even though I miss going to an actual poll and voting with people from the community, I am grateful that in Oregon where I live we DO have vote by mail. Because it makes a difference in numbers! Democracy, however it happens is key. And from what I see with my teenagers and their friends eagerly awaiting the day they can vote, I think this country’s future will be in good, participatory hands:-)

  • When I see how close the elections are, how close the election was in 2016, I wonder why people – so many people! – still decide to not vote, not participate.

    I was a resident of this country for years before I got citizenship and was able to vote, but man, you only realize how important it is to have a voice when this voice is taken away from you.

  • I really appreciate your perspective. Thanks for sharing.

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