Sal and I come from different cultural backgrounds. I was born and raised in a small farming community in northwestern Illinois. Sal emigrated from Mexico with his parents when he was 4 years old, and grew up in Aurora, IL. Although we grew up in different cultures, the values and lessons we learned from our parents are quite the same. Both our fathers were hard working men who worked the same job in the same place for over 30 years. Both of our mothers had the demanding job of running the household and taking care of us and our siblings.
Sal and I love to share stories of our experiences growing up and have found many to be the same. Here is one that is the same for both of us. When we were children, if we wanted to go somewhere to play, we had to ask permission to go. Permission was granted with the understanding that you had to be home in time for supper. If you were late for supper, you not only missed out on the food, you did not sit at the table and join in on the conversation. The dinner table at both our homes was a place where things were shared and discussed. Topics like allowances, distributions of “chores” and what was going on in your life. If you didn’t have a place at the table, your input and your interest was not heard, or considered.
The dinner table is a great analogy for our participation as citizens in our communities. As we have talked about in past articles, the greatest responsibility and privilege we have is our vote. If you don’t vote, you really lose your credibility to participate in the discussion at the dinner table in a bigger sense. You can complain about the state of affairs, but you really are not part of the discussion. Your vote is your voice. Your vote is personal, private and powerful.
We are approaching midterm elections on November 4th. Traditionally midterm elections do not have big voter turnout because people think voting for President every four years is the important vote and that midterms really don’t matter.
Midterm elections are very important. This is when we elect our Governor, US Senators, state legislators and other state officials and county boards and councils. All of these offices have a direct impact on each of us and our communities. This is when we elect people who will act on our needs and interests when laws are passed and when funds are allocated for our communities. A bigger voter turnout will result in a more accurate picture of what the people want. The vote also guides our elected officials as to how we want them to represent us.
Iowa is always at the center of attention in every election year. News media and pollsters look to Iowa to see what the trends in the elections will be. They are watching Iowa closely in the approaching midterm elections. We, the people of Iowa, have the opportunity to really have a big voice with a big voter turnout and set the pace of the race for the direction our nation is going. The bigger the voter turnout, the more accurate a picture of what we want as citizens from our elected officials. They work for us and they need a wakeup call.
Your Vote Counts IOWA! Register to vote, and get your family and friends to register. Let’s keep our place at the dinner table! Let’s all VOTE this November!