Vote Because You Can

It won’t matter.

I don’t like any of the candidates.


The campaigns were vicious and ugly.

I just don’t have time.

Those are all things you can tell yourself and others if you skip voting in today’s election. But for every excuse you can use to stay home, there are a hundred reasons why you should have been first on line at the polls at 6:00AM.

Get out and vote…

· Because gun violence in schools, houses of worship and public spaces continues to go unchecked.

· Because hate crimes are on the rise and federal efforts are underway to erase the identities of transgender folks.

· Because insurance companies are getting away with murder and health care disparities continue to grow.

· Because seniors are still forced to choose between paying their electric bills and picking up their prescriptions.

· Because homelessness here on Long Island and across the nation continues to expand, especially among young people.

· Because too many kids and families are being traumatized by rampant poverty.

· Because a woman’s right to make her own reproductive health care decisions is under fire.

· Because sexual harassment against women and girls continues to go unchecked.

· Because entire populations of desperately poor people from Central America fleeing brutal violence and extreme poverty are being demonized.

· Because we continue to incarcerate an entire generation of black and brown men, mostly for low-level drug offenses.

· Because Hempstead High School continues to have a graduation rate of 37%, while Garden City’s – two miles away – is 99%.

· Because the opioid and heroin crisis continues to claim 175 American lives per day and about 500 per year here on Long Island.

· Because we want economic prosperity, well-paying jobs and equal opportunity for everyone.

Do it because we deserve elected officials at all levels – whether they are incumbents looking for another term or newcomers – that will act with compassion, intelligence and principled leadership.

Do it because you want our homes, schools, communities to be healthier and safer for you, your family, and everyone else.

There’s lots of turmoil out there, but now isn’t the time for us to walk away. Instead, it’s the perfect time for us to step-up in ways that are bigger, bolder and smarter than ever before.

Your daily work helping others, especially those in need, is rooted and basic fairness and justice. Extend the reach of that work today by getting out to the polls between 6:00AM and 9:00PM.

Take your kids or grandkids with you and tell them why voting matters. Take an elderly neighbor or a veteran who might have trouble driving.

Vote in honor of someone who can’t. Vote because you can. Vote to cancel out your partner’s, spouse’s or parent’s vote. Vote because you’re angry, hopeful or feeling ambivalent.

So much is at stake at a county, state and national level that I don’t care who you vote for. (I actually do, but can’t say more than that.)

Just please get out there, exercise your fundamental right to decide for yourself and then hunker down tonight at 9:00PM to watch democracy in action.