Does YOUR Vote Count?

In 2008 we have the second largest Youth Voter turnout in American History (except for 1972 when 18 year old's were first given the right to vote), 2008 we had the highest black voter turn out in American History.. in 2008 the highest black woman vote in American History (Black people ACTUALLY OUTNUMBERED all other voters)  yet yesterday 2010 we have a measly 4% of African Americans voting... We have the republicans in control of congress and only a minor advantage of democrats in the Senate (51 Dem, 47 Rep, 2 Indy)

Once again we are all bark and no bite... We have not done all that we needed to do to support our President and give him the ammunition he needs to distribute the change we all hoping and waiting for... We have failed him and ourselves.

The great efforts and measures, the leaps and bounds we all took to get President Obama in office are slowly trickling out with the bath water... we've already lost our spark and our interest in the political process in regards to these mid term elections...

Most of us do not even understand how the midterm elections affect the power of the President...

Yesterday while talking to people about the elections and going out to vote I felt like we were in the year 2000... I heard so many people say, "Oh I don't vote.. it doesn't count for anything anyway"

Are you guys kidding me!?! after the 2008 election people have reverted back to this mantra?! In 2008 you saw Your votes count! Because  YOU MADE IT COUNT....

Here's the problem that I find with most people who use this excuse.. Typically when they do vote... if they vote.. they go to the polls and that's it.. they disappear from the political arena never to be seen until the next election. They sit back fold their arms and wait for the elected official to do all the things that they said they would do.. they sit back and wait for everything to fall into a pretty political picture.. and when it doesn't and that candidate isn't fulfilling any of the promises he said he would, they sit back and still do NOTHING.

BIG MISTAKE.... if there is one thing I have learned in my 12 years as a voter is your job doesn't end at the ballot box!

These elected officials where ever they sit have NO IDEA the issues happening in your community IF YOU DON'T TELL THEM! When things are happening in your area you have to RUN IT UP THE FLAGPOLE! Start with the Alderman, the the City Council, Assemblyman, THE CONGRESSMAN who's office is usually in walking distance from your house! We have to start voicing our needs and FOLLOW UP until the needs are met! You have to attend public hearings, community board meetings, protest when there is 101 liquor stores in your area the same way they protest on the lower east side!

Change doesn't just happen because we say it should, it has to be initiated, fought for and followed up on... why would a political system which has operated the way it operates just influence change for the people WITHOUT THE PEOPLE ASKING FOR IT? And following up with it UNTIL THEY GET IT..

Learn how to use the political system to your advantage to improve your community and your life while you live in it!

I really think people just don't understand, hold your elected officials responsible for their promises!!! Call and complain when they roads need paving, when the schools are overcrowded, when you get too many parking tickets on the same street, when a streetlight is out, when the sewers are blocked, when sidewalks are not cleaned, when there's graffiti, whatever it is, let your elected officials know you CARE about your community!

Most of them think we don't care because they never hear from us, which is why when in office they can push through whatever political agenda they want because none of us are paying attention to them anymore! We aren't questioning them or asking to be filled in...

I always compare the level of community involvement in the neighborhood where I live compared to the neighborhood I work in... where I work public hearings are filled to capacity with residents concerned about whats happening next in their area..... Where I live? we're lucky if 10 people show up... There is a subway station in my neighborhood that recently lost it's token booth clerk.... the signs regarding the hearings were up for months.. I'm embarassed to even write how many people showed up to protest it's removal..

When are we really going to start BEING ABOUT IT and getting in the political arena.. AS ACTIVE PARTICIPANTS.. not just side liners!

I'll tell you this, the modern day supergirls have their eyes on all these newly elected officials and we will be calling their bluff and checking their checklists! it's no longer the time to side and wait.. it's time to work with those in office to get our critical neighborhood issues on the table and their agenda!

xoxo
Carrie

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