Confession: I’ve recently fallen back in love with the power of voting. And want to encourage voter registration and voting for the Multnomah County Library Levy in the May primary.
My parents made voting a part of our family life. They sat with us at the round dining room table and read the voter’s guide and discussed all of the details on its pages over dinners of spaghetti or brown rice and vegetables. My mom took us with her when there were still physical voting booths, and the scene always felt so special. The flapping of the fabric booth doors, staring at people’s legs as they voted in their secret spaces, and so on. This dedication to voting continued even when I left the house. When I was in college, my mom or dad would call to make sure I was going to get my absentee ballot in. Voting has always been part of my life.
But for a while there, I was part of the disenchanted masses who felt like voting doesn’t matter. Yes, I have always voted since turning 18. But I wasn’t sure that it mattered.
With the work I’ve been doing in my Capstone classes focused on education, I’ve done a lot of research on local levies and bonds, talking about candidates for School Board and Governor, and having long debates about tax reform. All of these discussions have allowed a space for realizing that (especially in local matters) each vote really does count, and we can see evidence of that all around us: in the quality of our schools, in the candidates who speak for us in Salem, in the open hours at the library, in the number of social services that are available around the city, and so on.
The deadline for registering to vote in Oregon is April 24. You can register ONLINE; it’s so easy. And if you think you don’t know enough about the issues or the candidates to vote in the upcoming May primary, you’re wrong. A simple Google search can give you lots of easily accessible information at your fingertips on all of the candidates and measures.
I’d like to make a special shout out to the Multnomah County Library system. Learn more, by reading the library’spage on how its funding works and why this levy is important. Please vote to support a stable library system. Voting for the library is a vote for the values of community, literacy, and equity.