I know you are so damn tired and this year has crushed you in so many ways. But I also know you love your kids and all of the other kids that wander through your life each day. You are a mom and you notice if they are sad or happy or hungry, regardless if they are your own. They may not be your kids but you are a mom, and that trust from children doesn’t stop with genetics.

If you don’t know this is an election year you may just be living under a rock (that or you are stuck under a cute little toadstool decorated by Poppy the Troll). Chances are, you are probably all too aware that this is an election year. You may know who you will vote for at a national level, but have somewhat tuned out the local races. You may recognize a few names from signs in your neighborhood, but are still unsure. Or you may not have a clue who you will cast your vote for, or how to decide. But mamas, right now it is time to get informed, use your voice, and vote.

Let me hit you with a few facts.

  • Less than 60% of Black voters turned out to the vote in 2016.
  • Less than 13% of Latino voters turned out to vote in 2016
  • Less than 51% of Millennial voters turned out to vote in 2016.
  • Less than 63% of Gex X voters turned out to vote in 2016.
  • Less than 64% of women voters turned out to vote in 2016.

Voters either didn’t care, couldn’t get there, had no transportation, had to child care, or were unclear about where or how to vote. This year more than ever we need to alleviate that which keeps our fellow mamas from the casting their vote. We need to carpool, work together, watch other kids safely at the park, and anything else during this time of COVID to empower our fellow women to cast their votes. It wouldn’t hurt to grab a few moms and jump on a video chat with a local candidate, or go for a walk with an informed friend you trust and ensure that you know the scoop before you walk into the voting booth.

We need to show up to vote.

The election happening on November 3rd holds the names of so many women running (national, state, and local). These are more often than not, women who have families, jobs, committees, sports teams to cheer on, volunteering to coordinate, and the endless list of kid ushering, feeding, dropping, and driving. Each of these women has given up their time and energy for something greater than their own children. We need to acknowledge that their commitment to the greater good is appreciated.

We need to show up to vote.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of women achieving the guaranteed and protected right to vote. We continue to hold a unique spot in our world, we have a special vantage point that many others do not have. We see our kids, our kids friends, our friends kids, our friends, and so much more as they navigate the world around us. We see schools, doctor’s offices, libraries, parks, and so much more. We see our peers getting paid 74 cents on the dollar compared to men. We see what is great, and what could stand for some improvements. In the 2020 election there will be more than a few seats that have great impact on our lives, our kids, our schools, and our futures.

We need to show up to vote.

We are at a crossroads in local, state, and national elections. In the thick of that crossroads is the future of our kids, and in some ways ourselves.

  • Will our daughters be paid less because of their gender?
  • Will our friends that are transgender be protected from hate crimes?
  • Will person’s of color achieve real equality?
  • Will be systematically dismantle the racism that has been threaded throughout the history of our country?
  • Will we recenter our communities so that we can disagree while being kind and make progress without vilification of difference?
  • Will we have public education and will that public education provide the most innovative, effective learning experience for all children?
  • Will we move our public schools beyond test scores and bullshit accountability and refocus our dollars and energy on what matters most (i.e., quality learning experiences that empower, ignite, and engage)?

This is not just an election year mamas, this is an election year that can make or break so many things. Be the one to gather your friends and hear from candidates, take an hour and volunteer at the polls, talk to a friend who is at home with kids all day about when they will find the time and freedom to vote, and consider not only what you can do, but what you should do in the next twenty some days.

We need to show up to vote.

We need to show up to vote for the diverse, global, complex world our children will live in. We need to show up to vote for the world our grandchildren will inhabit, and our great-grandchildren will hopefully be able to enjoy.

Mamas this is your year.

They say the suburban mom vote is now the one that matters. Let’s show everyone what we stand for, what we believe in, what we want for our families and children, and what we want for ourselves. This has been one hell of a year, lets make sure it ends on a positive note where each of us has used our voice and our vote.

Right now I need your voice and our kids need your vote.

Jody is a long-time advocate of public education and a lucky female that gets to empower other women every single day. Follow her work at jodybritten.com

fierce mom, constant learner, writer, speaker, researcher, thinker, designer, gadget queen, advocate for learning that matters & public ed, lead with my actions

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