I’ve never been a political person. I was 35 the first time I voted. I have a lot of friends who are really engaged in what is going on in politics. Recently it has occurred to me to ask a couple of them how politics, the news, issues of the day, were a part of their childhood experience, to try to determine how my reality was so different.
The news was rarely on in my house growing up. If it was, I guess I just didn’t notice. We didn’t discuss issues of the day around the dinner table. And there was never any discussion of your political party or how you planned to vote in an upcoming election.
As to government, I always just had this sense government “had my back,” that any law passed or decision made must have my best interest at heart. Right? Of course I realize now that feeling was a privileged one. I also realize I was complacent. I was totally abandoning this huge, amazing right – to vote – and completely taking it for granted. At some point I woke up, started reading more, surrounding myself with women who could help me backfill all those years I spent utterly checked out of our democratic process.
Some of this is a little embarrassing to admit to you! But I share with you so that hopefully I can inspire you. It’s never too late! Check out our VOTE dogtags. We will be donating 10% of their sales to Mandana Danyani’s I am a Voter, a non-partisan organization whose mission is to get everyone to participate, and to offer tools to help you get there. It’s a one-stop shop to get registered, check on your existing registration, and sign up for election reminders. You can learn about mail-in voting in your area, understand current COVID-related protocols, and even find volunteer opportunities.
The core sentiment of I am a Voter is simple: our democracy works best when we all participate.
Photo of barn with American flag in Niwot, CO by Curtis Lee Jones All rights reserved by CurtisLeeJones