By Dani Poirier, Environmental Studies & Communications Student
It wasn’t until less than a year ago that I actually came to realize and understand the importance of voting. Sure, I’d heard it one hundred times before how important it is to vote and blah, blah, blah, but I let it go in one ear and out the other. Politics isn’t something I grew up talking about; I was too busy playing outside to bother with it. And up until recently, I considered myself to be quite politically illiterate.
Nevertheless, as I grow older my exposure to politics has inevitably increased. During my education at the U in Environmental and Sustainability Studies, I became very cynical and distrusting of the government. I thought all politicians were greedy, powerful, and deceitful. I didn’t want to be a part of what I saw to be a destructive system, and I felt that casting my vote wouldn’t make a positive difference, so I decided to refrain from being an educated citizen and from voting.
I was incredibly misled by my choices—we shape the system by voting.
The more I was exposed to the world through education, the more I understood about where different political parties and individuals stood on the spectrum regarding various issues. Since the environment is an issue I am most passionate about, I realized that I was being drawn into politics. I was gaining a deeper understanding of how the environment would be effected based off whom we put in political control of our country. By acknowledging the purpose and power of voting, I have become more politically informed about party policies, and I see where my values aligned or clashed.
Often we feel like government is something that ordinary citizens can’t touch, but “We the People” shape the government. We are ones that put those people in power.
In my opinion, we should choose to put someone in power who aims to make major strides in environmental protection, affordable housing, progressive taxation, child care, women’s rights, youth programs, and income gap reduction. In addition, we, we need someone brave and good-hearted, who truly will put in place systems that will work for a better tomorrow for everyone.
We should get out and vote for someone who will work for the future we want. The future is truly up to us, the voters.
We are fortunate to be living in a country that gives citizens such a right. I think we often take that for granted. On Tuesday, Nov. 3 we have the opportunity to cast our say in our city’s future. This year they made it extra easy for us by mailing ballots directly to our mailboxes. The return postage has already been paid! If you did not receive a ballot, you can visit voting centers located at Trolley Square, Sorenson Multicultural Center, River’s Bend Northwest Senior Center, or First Congregational Church. More information can be found online at: http://www.slcgov.com/elections