With early voting for the Shelby County general election in full swing, now is a good time to reflect on the importance of voting and the role that it plays in shaping our communities – present and future. Politics at every level can often play out more like a poorly written television drama than the solemn workings of a democracy, so it is easy to become cynical or apathetic about it all and believe that your vote won’t make a difference. However, the results of local elections have a particularly big impact on our daily lives.
On August 2, we will be electing the people who will set the policies and budgets for everything from land use, transportation, and public infrastructure to affordable housing, economic development, and public health. And, of course, public education. Our four Momentum Memphis platform areas, for example, are issues that are largely determined at the local level and will therefore be directly affected by the county election results.
As you head to the polls, remember that your vote is more than a numerical unit toward the overall sum. It is an affirmation of the principles of democracy and a direct, personal statement about how you want your community to be – not just for yourself, but for your children. It is an opportunity to convey your concerns and priorities to the people who can ultimately do something about them. It is an essential supplement to the advocacy work that you already do. If those reasons don’t already convince you, here’s one more – the simplest and most compelling reason that we can come up with:
Vote because you can.
Early voting continues through Saturday, July 28. Election Day is Thursday, August 2. Don’t miss your opportunity to make an impact.