Originally published 9/18/18
If American women would increase their voting turnout by 10 percent, I think we would see an end to all of the budget cuts in programs benefiting women and children.” — Coretta Scott King
“A man without a vote is a man without protection.”― Lyndon B. Johnson
“Resistance isn’t enough. If we want change, we have to get out the vote.”
― DaShanne Stokes
“Voting is not only our right—it is our power.” – Loung Ung
“Every election is determined by the people who show up.” – Larry J. Sabato
(Infograpic at the end of this post)
So. It is great to see so many people engaged in our political process. Folks are calling their representatives, emailing, writing, visiting, protesting and boycotting.
In spite of everything, this is truly a great moment in time.
Still, we have to remember that the more energy we spend on convincing leaders in various positions to stand up for victims and Survivors; the less energy and resources we have to devote to healing and truly transforming communities.
I don’t know about anyone else, but MY time is valuable. My time is also limited.
I only have so much time in a day. I only have so much time to live. We all have an expiration date.
I don’t have time to make people care about other hurting people. I don’t have time to convince people that they should actually work to serve hurting and vulnerable people in the communities that pay their salary.
The time that I waste trying to convince people to do their jobs effectively, takes away from me doing my own job effectively.
It takes away from serving and educating parents.
It takes away from time that I need to be mentoring.
It takes away from time that I need to be a listening ear for a Survivor in crisis.
It takes away from time that I need to be serving Survivors by being a conduit of life-transforming information.
It takes away from time that I need to be writing and creating content that serves Survivors and people who care about them.
The time that I waste trying to convince people to care about issues that impact the communities that they were elected to serve takes away from Survivors.
That is infuriating.
I vote for people who will make my job serving parents, victims, Survivors,
and people who care about them EASIER not harder.
Tonya GJ Prince/Black Woman/Survivor/Voter
When it comes to the issue of sexual violence; the battle to change society truly begins with voting for the right leaders who are already where we need them to be or are eager to get there.
The right leaders are empathetic, compassionate, and eager to learn more about sexual violence directly from those most impacted by this crime.
We must vote for the right leaders who will work with grassroots activists and other organizations to end sexual violence.
We must vote for leaders who will maximize financial support for victims and communities.
We must vote for leaders who are serious about serving and supporting victims, Survivors and communities.
How are we going to win if we are always reacting to what rape supporters and rape apologists do? We have the numbers and the power to lead. Right now. Today.
Listen, we must critically evaluate who we assign power to.
Once upon a time, we had no choice. Today, if you are eligible to vote you have power.
If you are able to organize you have power.
If you are able to speak you have power.
If you are able to write, you have power.
We have to take back the power that was once stolen from us.
We must end this tired practice of electing officials and leaders who treat us no better than those who committed unspeakable acts of violence against us.
Y’all. We have power now. We must use it to end sexual violence.