We have all heard this before. “Why vote? I’m in California. My vote doesn’t matter.” In my case, it was a close family member of mine who said this to me as I sat across the table from him when we were discussing the upcoming election. Rather than give up and agree with those statements, I engaged. Every vote is important no matter the expected or unexpected outcome.
Voting is a way of having my voice heard. It is a privilege that thousands of men and women have fought for, and even paid the price of their lives.
In this upcoming primary election, we are selecting nominees for president who will face off in November. Presidents make decisions everyday that impact my life. From my body as a woman to how and when I can access my health care, it is important to know what the candidates are proposing.
A president is also responsible for decisions that will affect my greater Latino community. Presidents nominate Supreme Court Justices who decide legal cases with profound ripple effects. This Spring, the U.S. Supreme Court will be deciding on the fate of DACA.
Given all that is at stake, I return to the original question I hear often. Does my vote matter? Absolutely it does.
We cannot stand idly by and not participate in elections. I will do my part to even engage in conversations even with those I disagree with.
I will be encouraging people to register to vote and to vote. I will also be reminding people of how to vote, especially in Vote Center Counties where people have more ways to vote, and earlier.
Because when young people and Latinos show up to the polls they are force to be reckoned with. By voting, we can hold leaders accountable to their promises. My vote matters because it matters to me and my family.
I hope you will join me to vote on March 3 for the California Primary!
Written by Elisabet Medina, member of the San Francisco Latina Giving Circle