Vote, To Us You Matter is a campaign with the purpose of answering the hard-hitting questions that relate to and deconstruct inequality, such as “What can we do to get people more civically engaged?” After interviewing hundreds of people in 32 different cities in four different states, the answers we received were very diverse. Having collected the responses of everyone we had spoken to, we found the answers to be very diverse. Ranging from “do more volunteer work” to “go canvassing and get more people registered to vote,” there was an important message to be taken from it all. Voting is a very significant right in our society. To claim that one’s vote does not matter is simply incorrect, and is a mentality that the system benefits from us having.
Being civically engaged does not mean just voting. For youth, non-citizens, or others who cannot vote, seeking peaceful, nonviolent solutions to the difficult challenges we all face in our communities in itself is being civically engaged. Civic engagement can be changing something that directly affects your community, which, of course, matters! A powerful example of this is The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival. Having emerged from more than a decade of work by grassroots community leaders, organizations fighting against systemic racism and environmental destruction, the campaign aims to build a broad and deep movement to unite this country from the bottom up.
We challenge you to do at least one civically engaging activity this week. Whether it be volunteering at your local food bank, learning about your district’s representatives, or starting a petition to change something your city council is (or isn’t) doing. Register to vote if you aren’t already registered! Now more than ever, we need to take control of what we want our communities to look like. We cannot wait for other to create the changes we want to see in the world. Vote; and be civically engaged because to us, you matter!