Wendy Carrillo our guest on episode 96 talked about running for Congress in the neighborhood she grew up in. We often talk about the importance of registering to vote but before we vote it’s important to also be informed about how our government works. We know that some members of our community are not eligible to vote yet but that doesn’t mean you can’t be involved. Being a Supermama means speaking up for ourselves and our children, we encourage you to become an active member of your community. Regardless of your status in our country, you can make a difference!
If we want to change our communities and get more involved here are a few ways to start:
Register to Vote and then vote in all elections: If you are eligible, make sure you register to vote. Voting matters because if we don’t vote, others will decide for us. We aren’t just talking about the Presidential election every four years, there’s local races at the city, school board, state levels and even judges that will impact us and our children for years to come. Register to vote and find out if you are eligible by visiting Voto Latino.Org. To learn more about the requirements to become a US citizen visit Naleo.Org.
Learn Who Represents You: Whether you are eligible to vote or not, it’s important to know who is making decisions on your behalf. For example, did you know that the school board in most places is elected by voters and these individuals make decisions on how to use funding for kids with special needs, what to serve for lunch, and what courses to offer? In Los Angeles, where we live, the local school board manages a budget of billions of dollars! There’s several branches of government at the Federal, State and local levels. The federal government alone is made up of the 3 branches. Learn who your representatives are by visiting this site and learn about what the various parts of government do by visiting this site.
Get Involved: Now that you have more information, you can get more involved. Here’s a good way to start, sign up to receive e-mails and alerts from your representatives at the federal, state and local levels. This is a good way to know what issues they are working on and when they are having community meetings where you can actually come meet them. Most representatives also have local offices and staff that can speak to constituents on their behalf. Get to know them, watch the decisions they are making and always feel free to ask questions, remember they are public servants.
Learn What You Care About: Many women who eventually run for office are mom’s and sometimes they run because they see that the issues that affect women and children are not a priority. While there’s a range of things to care about from: healthcare, to education, to public safety, to paid family leave don’t feel the need to get active in all of them. It’s ok to pick an issue that you care about and learn more about it. One way to know is to think about the issues that you are passionate, the ones you talk about with your family during dinner, the stories you see that really upset you or make you feel something. If you want to learn about issues that impact women and their families we highly suggest visiting MomsRising.Org to learn more about their campaigns.
Don’t Worry About What You Don’t Know: Don’t ever be afraid to ask questions about things you don’t know. Information is power and we are lifelong learners.