VOTING is a formal expression of opinion/choice, either positive or negative made by an individual or body of individuals about elected officials, proposals, laws, and practices that impact the daily lives of Americans.
The U.S. Census Bureau reports that 55% of eligible black women voted in November 2018. That was six percentage points above the national turnout. Furthermore, the Census Current Population Survey of Voting and Registration indicates that more than 70% of eligible black women voted in the 2012 Presidential election.
Going back to the celebrated ex-slave turned abolitionist and political activist, Harriet Tubman, black women have been at the center of social change and political activism. We are informed and engaged, and want to have the issues that impact our children, families, and communities recognized and addressed.
I’m sickened by the constant flood of news stories detailing society’s social and moral decay. I am sickened by the violence against women. The documented discrimination in the criminal justice system breaks my heart. (A University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee study found that the state has the highest percentage of black men jailed in the country – most of whom are from Milwaukee. Thirteen percent, one in eight, are in state prisons or jail, while the national average is only 6.7 percent.)
I’m sicked by the lack of affordable health care for many. And it bothers me that there are people working two jobs and still don’t net family-supporting wages or have paid sick leave. It bothers me that on average, Black women in 2020 earn 39% less than white men and 21% less than white women — regardless of their education, occupation or years of experience. (Source: SurveyMonkey) Doesn’t that grate your nerves?
I am terrified by the gun violence. The wave of emboldened racism bothers me. Likewise, the Center for Disease Control reports that one in ten Americans cannot afford the out-of-pocket expense of medications. We are also witnessing, almost daily, the catastrophic effects of climate change. And the list goes on.
Aren’t these alone enough reasons to VOTE — and support candidates who will advocate to advance equitable policies and practices while at the same time working to ensure that our tax dollars are spent in our best interest.
VOTE. Take your family to the polls. Remember, NO VOTE, NO VOICE!