Welcome to election year, where your tv commercials are all political ads, where your Facebook friends are suddenly experts on healthcare, global warming and international affairs, and where everyone seems to be at each other’s throats about what the best move is for our country come November 3.
We get it, it’s a lot. Especially if you’re someone who doesn’t like to get involved with politics. But here’s the thing… by choosing not to get involved and not to vote, you are taking a stance. The only thing is, you don’t get a say in what that stance means for you, your loved ones or your community. Isn’t it better to just take the two minutes to get registered to vote so that you get the opportunity to make the choice that’s best for you?
Look, there are a million reasons to get involved and vote, and if you are someone who’s not registered or who is registered but just doesn’t participate, you’ve likely been lectured on them all. We’re not here to do that. Instead, we just want to share a few of the members of our hygge fam and the reasons why they choose to be civically engaged. Maybe the reasons will resonate with you, or maybe they won’t. For many of these folks, though, voting goes beyond voting because they believe strongly in an issue or two.
Before we get into their stories, though, as we write it is Oct. 9, the deadline to register to vote online in North Carolina. If you’re seeing this today, it takes two minutes to get yourself registered. Just click here to get it over and done with already. If you’re seeing this past Oct. 9, don’t worry! You can still register to vote by going to an early voting site and registering to vote in person. Then, you’re able to submit your ballot right then and there, plus you avoid all the election day lines. Easy peasy. Plus, you can vote early at any precinct, versus only being able to vote at your specific precinct on Nov. 3. To see where you can vote early in Charlotte, click here.
Okay! Now let’s hear from the hygge fam:
AJ Ratani, Entrepreneur
“It’s my civic duty in helping shape the decisions for our country. This year our vote will play a big part in helping preserve and expand basic rights, making sure our tax dollars are spent appropriately and ensuring there is focus on protecting our environment for future generations.”
Andrea Nordstrom, Freelance graphic designer and art director
- “I believe voting can be an act of love; to yourself, your neighbors and future generations. I don’t think the current state of our country is unified or equitable for those on the margins, so I’m using my vote to (hopefully) make the country a freer and more loving place for all.
- We hear this all the time, but the stakes have never been higher. Roughly half of people in my age range historically don’t bother to vote, and we simply don’t have the luxury of sitting this one out. And on top of that, it couldn’t be easier to vote. No excuses.
- Your vote is your voice. And being able to use your voice is a huge privilege.
So often people claim to be “apolitical” because they are turned off by politics. However, not engaging in politics is a form of being political. You’re letting others call the shots for you (while often complaining about the state of affairs). In this country, if you don’t like how things are, you get to do something about it.”
Yash Mistry, Freelance digital designer
“Voting is a very important piece of the process of creating real change in the world. Yes, it is important to raise our issues and voice our concerns – whether by protesting, reaching out to your representatives, or on instagram stories – but unless we put good people in powerful positions who intend to listen to the people and do what’s best about their issues, we can’t expect real, meaningful change.
I keep talking about meaningful change and in order to create that we need everybody to come together and do their part. That’s the only way to create a more inclusive, equal, happy, healthy world around us. We are where we are today precisely because of a lack of civic engagement. We need to change how we show up for each other in order to create the change required today. In the great words of Leslie Knope, ‘No one achieves anything alone.'”
Thea Walsh, Grants manager at Love146
“Each time I cast my ballot, I think of the women and people of color who came before me and fought for the right to vote. I know people who have won and lost local elections by less than 100 votes, which shows how crucial each vote truly is, especially in local elections. Public policy impacts all aspects of my life – personally and professionally. Voting is one of many ways I can advocate for my community and the issues that are important to me.”
Rebby Kern, Race and equity educator, yoga instructor and education policy specialist
“We must protect democracy and secure equity for underrepresented communities. I vote because I deserve to be seen, heard and uplifted. I deserve to have a radiant future and complete protections in every space I occupy.
Generation after generation protections, rights and resources have been rolled back and stripped away BIPOC, LGBTQ and transgender communities. Electing candidates who will protect these underestimated communities is crucial for the forward movement of society. To overlook one’s privilege to vote is a choice to ignore the fails of the system and promote status quo.”
Tara West, co-founder of Scarf & Blazer
“I choose to vote because I want to help make a difference in this world. Voting is an opportunity for change, and I can’t help the world make those positive changes without using my voice at the polls. As a community, we will not only make a difference now by voting, but will also promote positive changes for the future.
I’m passionate about civic engagement because I believe in a better world for us all. I believe in equality – a world where we aren’t judged based on our gender or color of our skin. I believe in a fair justice system – a world where our black and brown friends aren’t oppressed. I believe in love and laughter – a world where we can all love and laugh with one another despite our backgrounds, how much money we have in our accounts, or political views. Most importantly, I believe in YOU and ME – that by using our voices on November 3rd we can help make this world a better place for us all.”
(P.S.: Tara’s company is the one that made the incredible face masks for this photoshoot. Go ahead and get yours here.)