Your Voice Matters Too!
Imoved to Alaska 23 years ago. I built my life here. Now I have a partner, 5 kids, a job, and a community of people that I care about. This is my home, and I am invested in the health and the future of my city. I want this to be a place that my kids can be proud to call home. I want them to see a future here that is rich with opportunity. I want safe neighborhoods for them to hang out with friends. I want good schools, so they have all the tools they need to succeed in life. I want good leaders who can make the world a healthy place for all of us. And I want to vote for the kind of leadership I believe in. But I can’t. I am not a U. S. citizen, and I don’t yet have the chance to vote.
But this doesn’t keep me from staying involved. My voice can be heard even without my vote. I have learned that there are plenty of ways to speak up for my community today and for the future I want us to build:
• When issues come up in Anchorage and I want to make sure my voice is heard in the decision-making process, I can show up to my Assembly meetings and take my time to let our leaders know my perspective before they make their decisions. Our stories, our experiences can change the way they vote. They work for us!
• When people want to make changes in my neighborhood, I can show up to my community board meetings. I can be a part of making decisions about the playgrounds my kids play on, and how new projects are developed.
• When I want to make sure my kids’ teachers have the tools they need and that our schools are safe and fair, I can show up to my school board meetings and fight for the kind of education and access our children deserve.
And now as we look at another Assembly election and School Board election, I can make sure my community members show up and vote even if I can’t. I can still use my voice to talk to my neighbors about what candidates will actually speak up for our needs and share a vision for our community’s future.
Over the next few weeks, I can help support candidates I believe in by showing up to door-knock and talking to more community members. I can host parties, make phone calls, help people fill out and understand their ballots, I can help get elders to the polls, and I can still be a part of the democratic process.
This year has some big elections for Anchorage, and for Alaska, and I am looking forward to talking to more of the people in my neighborhood about how we can build a future together and how we can make sure we have leadership that works for us, and with us. Even if I can’t vote, I can still show up, and I hope more people do too. This is our home, and our voice has power even without our vote.