Voting is a right that we weren’t given, it is a right that we earned. Many people had to fight and die for the right to vote, and it is our responsibility to exercise that right.
If you are of voting age, I urge you to take advantage of the opportunity to take part in democracy. It is easy to get disillusioned and to feel that your voice doesn’t matter. History has proven that your voice matters, and that still rings true today.
I’m a business owner in Eatonville, Fla., and I have lived here all my life. In my younger years, I served as the town’s mayor, and I am currently helping folks re-establish the Eatonville Chamber of Commerce.
I know how important it is to bring changes to my town but those changes need to reach beyond our city limits. When we achieve positive changes on a national level, we see those changes passed down to state and local government. We can make Eatonville the most progressive city in Florida, but if Florida hasn’t progressed we won’t get very far.
Every election cycle there is an important reason to vote, and this year it is to remove some of our ineffective congress members. These elected officials have not helped anyone – rich or poor. They have shut down the government, and threaten to do it again.
If I shut down my business, I would be out on the streets. Why should our elected representatives be any different? We elected them to get things done and if they don’t want to work together, it’s time for them to go.
Vote and send them packing, and we’ll see if they can find another job where they get paid to do nothing.
Souls to the Polls is a movement that inspires people to come out and vote. You have more power when you vote as a church and as a community, so make a day of it. You can wait in line together, pray together, and vote together. Voting takes place immediately after your Sunday morning service and most likely your pastor has something planned for you.
If not, let your congregation know that Sunday is the last day of early voting and contact the local branch of the NAACP to find out where the closest event is to your place of worship. If you can’t make it out on Sunday, you can still vote on Tuesday.
If one of my customers comes in on Sunday and tells me they haven’t voted yet I’ll tell them to eat their lunch and go to the polls. If Tuesday comes around and they still haven’t voted, I’ll tell them to go to the polls. Your lunch will be here when you get back.
Abraham Gordon is the owner of Gordon’s Be Back Fish House in Eatonville and a member of the Main Street Alliance of Florida. The Alliance provides a new voice for small businesses and is working with allied organizations to encourage voter participation.