The Reason I Vote

Elections | 09/23/2019

Arlithia Mackey

A young girl sits in her 5th grade classroom eager. Her teacher delivers a rather ravishing and seemingly empowering lesson on the development of the Declaration of Independence. 

“Freedom,” she tells the class, “liberty and justice,” she delivers in a murmur. The stars glistened in her eyes as she envisioned a life for herself that was full of hope, prosperity, and happiness. By the time the girl returned home to her neighborhood, which was a 50-minute bus ride from her school, the sparkle in her eye slowly dwindled and reality had become more eminent than ever before. 

That 5th grade girl developed an uncanny understanding of two harsh, intangible obstacles living in her own backyard: disparity and inequity. That girl is me. 

Whenever I have an opportunity to partake in the democratic process of voting, I think of the fifth grade me who sat in class with an ambitious attitude and a heart full of hope, but also understood what the world around me told me was likely to be true for someone from my background. 

When I vote, I vote with the intention of representing the youth in our city who cannot have a voice in our elections yet, but deserve a world of justice, liberty, hope, and freedom. I vote for a community that can flourish and be allotted the opportunity to strive. I vote for representation that is authentic and passionate about equity.

Join me in exercising your right to vote for Memphis mayor and city council members. Early voting is open through Saturday, September 28. Election Day is October 3. Sign the pledge to vote now.

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