I used to skip voting sometimes. It felt like the whole thing was a bunch of old White men who were far far away and did not matter for what was happening on my side of the country. They didn’t seem to do much good or do much bad so why not. If a woman was running, I might vote for her (having no knowledge of her platform or experience). Otherwise it was the names I recognized or those my parents recommended. Again, if I voted at all.
That is not me anymore. Just like how I now get up early some mornings to voluntarily run for an hour (or more), I now take the ballot very seriously. Oregon is wonderful in that a packet comes in the mail, and then a week later my ballot comes. All I have to do is fill in some bubbles, seal the envelope, sign my name, and put it back in the mailbox. I can read over details on the candidates and measures, and feel confident about my vote all in less than an hour. Heck, I can finish the whole process while watching The Great British Bake Off.
I vote because I know that my county is primarily led by a bunch of old White men who are far far away. And it does not have to stay that way. There are diverse candidates with experience, wisdom, and passion who can and should be leading the United States. I chose who to vote for by what they have done and what they plan to do. It is not their words that matter; it is their actions.
And that same accountability is true for me as well. What I do is more important than what I say. I voted. I acted. Your turn…