10/31/14

Why Vote?

Election Day is November 4th Election Day is November 4 and I hope you make a trip to the polls a priority. Your vote is a privilege and a power you should not take for granted.

When you choose a Congressman, governor, county supervisor, city council member, mayor, judge or school board member, you’re voting for someone who will make decisions that impact your daily life. Your government leaders will make choices about your money and how much of it will go back into your community. They will choose how the tax burden is distributed and when it will increase. They will make decisions about your job, including minimum wage, fairness in hiring, job security and workplace safety. They will manage your healthcare access and your Social Security.  Choices will be made about what highway improvements are needed, how to pay for them and how public lands will be used. Law enforcement leaders will make critical decisions about crime prevention, justice, safety and punishment. School leaders will set public education policies and approve budgets that will dictate your child’s curriculum and how prepared they are for their future.  Why would you want to give up your leverage to influence any of those decisions?

I have always been a voter, but it was about 20 years ago when I learned first-hand how much a local government decision can directly impact my life. I am a farmer and a landowner. The County of San Diego decided it wanted my land but did not want to pay me what it was worth. I fought the decision and kept my land, but the battle changed me. I realized I was not the only land owner challenged by the system and fighting for my property rights. I was angry and decided I wanted more say on issues that could impact my livelihood. That is when I decided to run for County Supervisor.  

You don’t have to run for office to get involved, but you do have to get out and vote. Choose someone to represent you and what you believe is important. Choose someone to be your voice. Learn about the candidates, their position on the issues and consider their integrity. Will they stand behind their word? Check their track record. It is important. You have no right to complain about how your local, state or even federal government is managed if you don’t cast a ballot. Your vote is power and the reason our forefathers were willing to sacrifice their lives for that right. You can choose your own leaders. That incredible freedom of choice is the foundation of American democracy and what sets the United States apart from other countries. Don’t squander it. If you don’t use your right to vote, you may lose your right to vote.

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