Why Bother Voting?

VOTING

Why Bother Voting?

BY JACK LEVINE

We are in the heat of Summer and the post July 4th launch of Election Season. There’s nothing more predictable in politics than the sweat of a sizzling Summer.

With an eye on the impending mid-term elections, I think you’ll agree that the past few months have unleashed a storm of partisan controversy.

The steady stream of accusations and allegations have unleashed a flood which threatens to drown us.  We are gasping for fresh air in a noxious environment.

As citizens, let’s take a deep breath and determine where our nation, states and communities stand on issues which matter most.

It’s our obligation to learn our history and live the lessons of our past so that we can take steps toward a better future.

How do we account for our assets and liabilities?  Where are we on the balance sheet of quality of life, justice, health, safety, education, economics and a myriad of global issues?

What plans are being proposed for paving a positive path forward for ourselves, our children, grandchildren and generations to come behind us?

It’s always wise to conduct a reality check when there’s a need to move forward.

 “Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing.”

 John Stuart Mill 1867:

Who do we think is best prepared to lead us into the future?  Let’s look in the mirror and determine whose image best reflects our values and vision at every level of office.

It’s our obligation to learn our history and live the lessons of our past so that we can take steps toward a better future.

That’s one definition of advocacy which I’m dedicated to both preach and practice.

There are sins of commission – actions which do harm and are transgressions against legal or moral ethics. And there are sins of omission – ignoring a problem or offense which does harm, but not taking action to rectify the situation.

VOTEUnlike nations which suffer under tyrannical rule, a representative form of government requires active citizen engagement. In our nation, we cannot be punished for participating.

While I’m strictly non-partisan in my advocacy for family policies that improve the odds for health, protection and lifelong success, I’m an ardent promoter of participation in all aspects of the political process.

I truly believe that voting is not just a right, it’s a sacred responsibility. There are no more influential civic activities than voting. It takes a few minutes but has impact for years to come.

When I consider the many who struggled, suffered, fought and even died for our right to vote, I’m motivated all the more to have my voice be heard.

It is my earnest hope that despite all of the negativity, vitriol and divisiveness in today’s politics we can come to a place which brings us to pledge to participate as informed, active and dedicated voters.

Please do not fall in to the trap of complacency. Let’s take every opportunity to accept the obligation to be dedicated citizens of this nation. Our vote is our voice.

Despite the billion-dollar industry of politics, voting is the great equalizer. Whether you own a hotel or clean its restrooms, most citizens over age 18 have the right to register and vote.

Some states have restrictions placed on registration based on certain ID requirements and limiting access for people with criminal convictions on record, but many of those laws are being reconsidered as matters of equal justice reform.

I implore you to participate as an active voter and encourage others to join you. Regret is preventable…and the day after Election Day is a day too late.

Please pay attention and take action.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR – JACK LEVINE

After a 25-year tenure as president of Voices for Florida’s Children, a statewide advocacy network, Jack founded 4Generations Institute to promote intergenerational policies and programs that benefit the young, their parents, and more experienced family members…..also known as grandparents.

Jack’s expertise is in developing and delivering messages to the media, public officials, and a diverse network of health, education, human services and social justice advocates on the value of preventive investments in children, parent leadership, grandparent activism, and dignified services for elders.

Through public speaking, seminar and workshop leadership, community conversations and opinion columns, Jack shares information, provides inspiration and leverages advocate enthusiasm in the direction of public policy action.

Jack holds a Master’s degree in Child Development and Family Studies from Purdue University and an undergraduate degree in English Literature from Hunter College.

He serves as Partnership Director for GRAND Media, is a member of Generations United and was a founding member of the Board of Voices for America’s Children.

A graduate of Leadership Florida, Jack was the recipient of that organization’s first Distinguished Alumnus Award.  He was named Floridian of the Year by the Orlando Sentinel.  Jack and his wife, Charlotte, live in Tallahassee, Florida and have two sons, Josh and Aaron, both graduates of the Florida State University and currently working as educators in Washington, D.C. and Portland, Oregon.

Jack Levine, Founder
4Generations Institute
Jack@4Gen.org

http://4Gen.org

850.567.5252 (mobile/voicemail)
P.O. Box 10875 Tallahassee, FL 32302

The Advocate’s Credo:
Thou art my child, my parent, and my elder,
I love thee best,
But could not love thee half as much,
Loved I not all the rest.

 

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