APCO Worldwide’s adVOcaTE campaign consists of efforts designed to help get out the vote and elevate APCO employees’ voices as they advocate for what they believe in, during and beyond the election year. Below, four members of the APCO family share their thoughts on why they’re voting this year.
I vote because I know and understand the history of systematic denial and disenfranchisement of Black Americans at the polls. Even to this day there are strategic avenues to suppress or deny voting, and I do not believe those hurdles would be in place if our collective voices were not important. From partisan gerrymandering, to eight-hour long waits and everything in between. I vote because I understand that although our republic is not perfect, there is power in the collective casting individual “reviews” on candidates and policies.
Since I could walk, my mother would take me and my twin brother to the ballot box every election cycle, whether that meant local, state or federal elections. It fascinated me that a single mother of two would wake up early to get us ready for school and to the polls, all before school started in the morning because voting was that important to her. In 2000, former President Bush won the State of Florida by 537 votes, leading to his election victory. Hundreds of people had/have the potential power of altering the trajectory of our nation for generations just by casting a vote.
Michelle Rodriguez, APCO Alumna
We are at a turning point in our own history where there is a lot of uncertainty and turmoil. People are witnessing what’s going on in our country, including systemic racism and inequality, immigration, the economy and climate change, and many are feeling that their freedom and livelihoods are at stake. I believe it’s my responsibility as a citizen to exercise my right to vote and contribute to making real change around important issues facing our society.
Gender equality is one of many issues that I feel strongly about. Women—particularly women of color—are struggling to make ends meet and support their families. They’re worried about their economic future for themselves and their children. As a mother of three girls, whose ethnicity is that of Latino/Asian descent, I vote because I want a life for them where they can thrive, have equal opportunities to healthcare, economic security, education and pay. But more importantly, I vote so they too, can have a voice and grow up with choices. I vote because our lives, and the future of our children, depends on it.
I vote because change doesn’t happen by sitting on the sidelines and letting other people decide what is important. It happens when we each take an interest in the world around us and study the issues that affect our society.
Too often we get engrossed in our daily lives and forget the importance that politics and policies can have, and how simple decisions sometimes have the power to improve or destroy lives. We leave being politically active to the “professionals,” feeling that they are always better qualified and more informed to make decisions on our behalf. It is often only when something affects us personally or deeply in a negative way that many of us think about what we could have done to alter the outcome.
I am motivated to vote because I believe that when we make our voices heard, it sends a signal to our representatives that we are paying attention and prepared to hold them accountable. It’s also a reminder to never overlook the people who elect them to office and place their trust in them.
I vote because I am a woman, a mother of two young children and a strong public health advocate.
I vote for women. For too long women not only did not have the right to vote, but once we did, we remained (and still remain) woefully underrepresented down the ballot. Ruth Bader Ginsburg said it best when she said, “Women belong in all places where decisions are being made.” I vote as a strong advocate for women in elected office because our voice and perspective matter.
I vote for families. Like many, my family is my number one priority. So, I not only vote for candidates who will advance policies that will help my family, but also for those who will help protect and support the diverse and broad array of different ways that people want to build their family.
I vote for public health. In many ways our health outcomes and the protection of public health is inextricably linked by the policies advanced by those who hold elected office. From things like clean water to vaccines to mask mandates, I vote for those who will protect and promote the public’s health.
Click here to read related adVOcaTE articles from APCO’s North America team.