All change begins locally. Concerned your rights are up for grabs? Your state legislator is where the rules are made. Did you realize states determine there own equality laws. People with disabilities or the LGBTQ community may have more rights in one state than in others. Gun violence or police brutality reform interest you? Go vote. Want to keep heartbeat bills out of your state? Concerned about a local industry polluting your town? VOTE!
Governorships,state reps, mayorships, and state attorney general positions are also up for grabs. Did you know governors are suing the trump administration for the cuts made to women's health care centers, environmental roll backs and for his tax laws?
It’s been over three years since our presidential election has divided our country, and we have the opportunity to vote locally to push back against policies of the politicians that don’t properly represent our values.Here are five reasons why voting local is crucial to having your voice heard, and how you can make that happen this November.
1. All resistance starts local.
In our current divisive political climate people require strong representation at the local level. Your municipal government is where progress happens — or doesn’t. Have you ever wondered why gay marriage was previously legal in some states but illegal in others? That’s because it related to civil rights, so state law undermined federal law. Since several state legislative seats are up for grabs, voters have a chance to weigh in on their rights. If you don't agree with the healthcare bills, heartbeat bills, purging voters from the rolls ( Georgia is set to purge over 300k more) or other forms of voter suppression go vote in your state elections!
2. Criminal justice reform is local.
In the past years we have been outraged by the amount of profiling and and injustice POC have gotten from our community police. Young men and women continue to be killed for no reason, even in their own homes. Your mayor is ultimately responsible for criminal justice and policing reform in the city you live in. The mayor appoints the police chief and the police chief oversees the training, hiring, and investigating of the police department. If police brutality in your area worries you, take a closer look at your mayoral candidates and their colleagues to ensure that your next police chief is someone you can trust to protect and serve your community. Attend a town hall meeting or other events and ask some serious questions and state your concerns. You can easily check their websites or Facebook pages to find out where the next event is held at.
3. Your rights are up for grabs.
As a women we have many laws in place to be sure we can have access to safe healthcare for our reproductive rights including birth control, safe and legal abortions, cancer screenings and wellness care. Health care is key to women’s well-being and economic stability. We’ve got to make sure the new health care laws keep working for women and that politicians cease their relentless attacks on reproductive care. The ACLU blocked 7 different states' abortion ban laws from going into effect this year. In Alabama they have been vocal about using this as a path to appeal all the way up to the Supreme Court and use the opportunity to take down Roe v Wade.
The cases the Supreme Court heard last month on LGBTQ+ rights started at the state level. Elected state officials want to make it legal to fire gay or trans employees for simply being themselves. They were able to write laws that were challenged all the way to the highest court. The Supreme Court heard their arguments but we won't have a verdict for months.
4. Your turn to make your vote count.
Don't think your vote won't matter. Unfit candidates have set back entire cities because they won by 10 votes. Your voice is needed and valued most during local elections. We have to rebuild our nations political system from the ground up. The silver lining of Trump’s victory is that young people and women are running historic campaigns and more people than ever are energized to engage in politics.
5. Because you can.
It is a luxury to have the right to vote. You can peacefully break up with the most powerful person in your city and choose someone else to make a change. Take advantage of your freedom, and participate for your own advantage. Elections are not about the candidates, they are about us. Build back your political power and get out to vote. If you don’t know when or where to vote, start with www.vote411.org.
We donate a portion of each sale to organizations like the ACLU, Planned Parenthood and Emily's List. Emily's List helps train and financially supports the candidacy of democratic women running for office on all levels of government. These organizations share our values of empowerment, progress and equality. Let's use our purchasing power for good! It's the simplest way to protest!
Today we are exactly 1 year away from voting out Trump. We know that women are the majority of this country and together we are unstoppable!
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Image Credit: Jess Weiner