It’s about that time! Election Day is right around the corner, and many Americans are choosing not to exercise their right to vote. I have listened to different individuals’ reasons for not voting this year, and instead of brushing them off, I had a conversation with political strategist Ericka Claudio to get some answers! Ericka only reassured my feelings on the importance of voting, and I hope that after reading this article her words will have the same affect on you.
A Little About Ms. Claudio
Ericka Claudio is a political operative that jump started her career earlier this year on the Bernie Sanders campaign as a national organizer. Previously, she’s worked on local races for local candidates such as Mayor Kasim Reed and Jason Carter. She currently serves on the US Senate race for Jim Barksdale and wants to express the importance of voting down the ballot this election. After traveling the country and the state, she’s talked to so many discouraged voters but makes a good case for why our votes matter now more than ever.
First, Ericka and I spoke on the importance of voting, not only for the President of the United States, but also for your statewide and local candidates. Here’s what Ericka had to say:
Why Local Elections Are So Important
EC: Think of the federal government as the CEO and think of voters as the day-to-day people on the team who work on the ground. When a new CEO takes office, there are a lot of people that you have to go through to get anything done. Think of your local statewide candidates like your governors, mayors, state legislatures; those are like your supervisors and team leaders – people you go to to get work done. Without those people there’s a big disconnect between the CEO and the every day team player. I use that analogy to basically say that your local statewide elected officials are the people who can get access to federal influence.
A good example of this is – the HealthCare Act passed; it is a law and has provided millions and millions of Americans access to health insurance that otherwise would not have that access. However in the state of Georgia, because we have a Republican control state Senate and we also have a Republican governor we have not accepted money from the federal government to expand Medicare Medicaid for Obama Care to work in Georgia. A lot of Georgians ask, “what happened to affordable healthcare act I thought I was supposed to get insurance?” but the state has not accepted the funding, and it’s free! It’s free for the state to accept the money from the federal government but because the state government is so anti-“whatever” they have refused to accept the money to make Obama Care work, and as a result millions of Georgians don’t have health insurance to this day. That’s a good example of why it’s important to participate in your local and statewide elections because yeah getting a federal win when it comes to gay marriage, raising minimum-wage and affordable healthcare is great, but unless your state and local officials are on the same page with what’s happening on a federal level there is a huge disconnect as far as if we’re able to reach those benefits.
You can name any headline that’s happened in the last year like police brutality for example, federal government can’t do anything about police brutality at a local level because it’s a state right. Each city and each municipality has control over their police department. Just like when a man got lynched in Piedmont Park people were wondering why Obama wasn’t talking about this stuff and it’s because well it’s really not in their control. It’s more of an issue for Mayor Kasim Reed and Governor Deal. That is something that our local and state officials control.
All these things that happen at a level that impacts us immediately, are at the local and state control.