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sswriter on Apr 22, 2010 in Rant On
Been yelled at today? How’s this? GO VOTE!!
Tuesday, May 4, 2010 is Election Day in Norfolk, VA. That’s the day voters will choose a mayor and city council members.
Do you know what happens when people with common sense and a conscience don’t vote? Bob McDonnell becomes governor of Virginia then guts the middle class, education, and health care as soon as he gets in office. Then he slaps us even more. (See article – A Stab in the Chest, From Bob McDonnell)
I have voted in Norfolk since I was 18 years old. I know it’s my duty, right and a great freedom. Our “Forefathers” knew that voting was powerful! If it wasn’t, they wouldn’t have fought so hard to keep everyone else out of the process. In 1920, the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution became law, and white women could vote. The Fifteenth Amendment was added to the Constitution in 1870 to protect Blacks’ voting rights. But, a lot of states imposed threats, poll taxes, and reading & writing tests to keep freed slaves from voting. It took about another 100 years and the Civil Rights Movement before all states were forced to allow African-Americans the right to vote as easily as their Caucasian counterparts. In both movements, people died or took beat downs just so I can punch a little hole out of a card, or nowadays, tap a computer screen. So, I don’t want to let down any of the people who paved the way for me.
Around the USA, the turn-out for local elections is usually abysmally low. Norfolk has been no exception. Truth be told, during presidential elections, I never had to wait in a line longer than 10 minutes. That time includes the minutes it takes the sweet, old ladies to find my name on the list. But, one rainy, November morning, I arrived at my polling place to find hundreds of people in line waiting their turn to cast a vote for the next president. Did I mention it was raining! It was flooding and people were smiling. Hundreds of them! I was happy, too. Grateful to have some company for a change. Grateful that people knew that their vote matters. The year was 2008. It seems that most of those people voted for Barack Obama. They must have. He won by a landslide (even in Virginia).
Well, Norfolk citizens, since you now know your power, use it. Go out on Tuesday, May 4th. Vote for the people you know are going to still care about you a year after the elections. (Granted, they’re politicians. I trust them as far as I can throw them. One of them even got a judge to block a website that said negative things about his friends. And my taxes pay his lawyer! That’s just not right.) If you think life is great in Norfolk, you’ll probably vote for the incumbents. That’s your right. Ain’t it sweet?
If you look around and see lots of waste parked on train tracks, development that only helps a rich, few investors; and a bunch of city leaders who clearly don’t care if students are in school buildings that are falling down on the babies’ heads, vote for someone new. Either way, please vote. Take Grandmom, too. She was probably involved in one of those voter movements.