The midterm elections are around the corner. Maybe you are sick of the ads, or you think your vote can’t possibly make a difference. I hope you will reconsider. I’ve looked back a lot since 2016. I made donations to candidates, I sent out tweets, and posted on Facebook. I wrote and spoke with friends.
I didn’t knock on doors.
I didn’t put a bumper sticker on my car.
I didn’t attend meetings or rallies.
I didn’t speak as plainly as I could have.
I thought it was going to turn out fine.
It did not turn out fine, and I am trying to change the way I participate to come out on the other side feeling like I gave it my all.
Last week I let Sean manage the girls’ after-school commitments so that I could attend a fundraiser for Tedra Cobb. I’ve been following her progress for over a year. I didn’t immediately choose to support her, but today she has my full support. I believe that she will honor the things I hold dear—protecting women’s health care and reproductive rights and ensuring that our neighbors have the resources they need—social services, mental health support, and healthcare.
Elise Stefanik has not been available to us, and her voting has been more about toeing the Republican line than providing for her constituents. For me, the adherence to party over progress has been an unforgivable error. My kids are growing up in a world vastly different than my own, I feel it’s my job to help shape the world to address these changes. That means gun control, it means making college campuses safer, and it means acknowledging the environment’s fragility.
I believe Tedra Cobb will work toward that change.
I met Emily Martz on another occasion when Sean freed up my schedule. It was an event for Planned Parenthood in Glens Falls. I attended with my mom and was eager to support Planned Parenthood publicly. I didn’t know that I would meet Emily, but I was immediately drawn to her. She listened and was unafraid to speak about issues that have been ignored by our current state senator. Unfortunately, I think many of us have been silent, making it possible for votes against marriage equality and the Reproductive Health Act to be touted as “what my constituents want.” Senator Little, as a Catholic, has views on victim rights related to abuse in the Catholic Church that protect the offenders more than the victims. Her religion also influences how she votes on issues related to women’s reproductive health.
I am wholeheartedly throwing my support behind Emily Martz.
I hope that you will look at the candidates in your area and see if there are things that matter to you. Don’t be afraid to vote for someone other than the incumbent, try not to be intimidated by the idea of publicly standing for something. I know it can be upsetting to be attacked or to have someone challenge what you believe, but if we never stand up or speak out, if we never support someone who is trying to change things, then do we really believe in the things that we say we do?
We can’t actively support causes if we don’t let people know we’re in it. A former boss of mine used to say, “The world is run by those who show up.” Showing up takes courage, but what I can promise you is that you will never regret having tried.
Please use your voice in the places that you can.