By Ife Olatunji
No matter what side of the aisle your on, these issues affect us more than we may think.
- Jobs, Jobs, Jobs. The question continues to be asked, has your economic situation improved? Have you found a job? For people just entering the job market, the stakes are high. Most entry-level positions are based on minimum wage rates which very from state to state. Higher paying jobs, may no longer come with the security our parents once had in insurance, and social security, and additional job planning will be necessary. Your vote could decide if we have a return to menial factory jobs from the 20th century, or if we will create new industries and support independent entrepreneurs in new markets.
- National Health. What good is a job, if you can’t see a doctor when you need to? Nationalized health care has been a huge issue since 2008, and the implications of this are real. People under 26 remained covered under their parents. People with pre-conditions can still receive coverage, waste and fraud have been reduced, and people who need medical attention can not simply be fired from their jobs. The thing about health care, is we all need it, we just might not know when. While you may not agree with every aspect of national health care, your vote could determine if some of our countries most vulnerable citizens are denied medical care, simply because they can’t afford them.
- War and Peace. If you are like me, you have noticed a lot of discussion about war and insurgents in the Middle East. The candidates keep speaking about ‘getting tough on Iran.’ But what does that mean? War is expensive and deadly for both sides. Will our country enter into yet another long, arduous war? Your vote could help decide if we, not only as a county, but as individual service people, are going to war, or working toward peace.
- Reproductive rights. While the media has portrayed this as a ‘women’s issue.’ reproductive rights are a human issue. Both men and women will be affected by access to adequate reproductive services. While millions of women and men are trying to have children, there are also many women and men actively planning and postponing reproduction. Currently, women and men both have the right to buy contraceptives and use birth control. Women also have the legal right to terminate pregnancy according to their state laws. However, laws are changing, and your vote this election could determine how we plan our families from now on.
- Public Education. Now this is a topic that the national candidates have hardly covered, if at all. But the future of public education hangs in the balance nationwide. Across the country the public school system remains greatly underfunded to deal with issues unique to each community. While some districts are in large urban areas, others are in small rural and suburban areas. For too long, public education has tried to use a ‘one size fits all’ approach, but not all educational problems are created equal. To deal with this issue, it will be important to elect local officials that support your ideals. If you have children now, or plan to in the future, the state of public education is going to have a huge effect on other issues like jobs, poverty, and crime; get involved now.
No matter what party you are with, it is now time to get involved and cast your vote. Voting locally is just as important as voting nationally, so get out there and make your voice known in your community. See you at the polls!
Text VOTE to 69866 if you have any questions about voting!