Voting is essential to ensure that we have a voice and that our demands are heard
The most important elections of the year are approaching. And it is in our hands to ensure that our voices are heard at the polls this November.
As a DACA recipient, I cannot vote, but together with the community organization Make the Road New York, we are leading an effort to ensure that all people eligible to vote have the information they need and are motivated to cast their vote. We have already called more than 80,000 voters and hope to call tens of thousands more in the coming weeks.
Voting is essential to ensure that we have a voice and that our demands are heard. By voting for representatives who share our values, we can advance the public policies we need to be able to live in a better state and country.
A clear example of this was in 2018, when the masses in New York State voted and sent a clear message of the need to pass progressive laws. After those elections, we were able to pass laws that help and protect our people in the state legislature. The “Green Light NY” law was passed, which has helped make driver’s licenses accessible to everyone, including people in my family.
Also, the NY Dream Act was passed, which allows financial aid for students, regardless of their immigration status. It is because of the NY Dream Act that students have been able to follow their dreams of continuing their university studies. Similarly, this year the historic revocation of Law 50-a, which increases the transparency of the police and much more, was also passed. These changes were possible because our people came out to vote for the well-being of our communities.
If we want to achieve the changes our communities need – like paying rent, raising billionaires’ taxes, and creating a fund for excluded workers – in less than 20 days, it is crucial that everyone who is eligible vote.
Due to the pandemic, there are currently several ways our communities can vote. You can vote by mail in New York State and the last day to request your ballot is October 27.
You can also vote early and in person from October 24 to November 1. Likewise, you can vote on Election Day, November 3.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, New Yorkers and people across the country have been suffering from a lack of access to healthcare, unemployment, resisting a broken immigration system, fighting for racial justice, and much more. It is up to us during the next elections to vote to demand that our people and our democracy be protected.
Your vote can make a difference, vote and make your voice heard.
Exequiel Mignaton, is a member of New York Way, the largest organization in New York providing direct services and organizing the community. On twitter: @MaketheRoadNY