Women. Power. Peace.

Carolyn Rodriguez-Monden: It’s All Connected

I don’t know how to react when someone my age (thirty-something) tells me “I don’t vote” or “I don’t do politics”. What does that mean?! I would be ashamed to ever utter the words “I don’t vote.”  It escapes me why this seems acceptable for those of my generation. There is a disconnect: it is as if voting and the entire political process are optional for my contemporaries.

What I wonder is; if we don’t get involved, then who will? All of the things that have to happen to make our democracy work do not just happen. Everything the youth in this country deems important is touched by the political process.  It is understandable that everyone is unable to follow the daily ins and outs of politics and its impact on their everyday lives, but its reach is important.

It’s all connected.

What happens in your local city government, state capital, or in the halls of Congress matters.  From zoning laws that determine where homes and businesses can be constructed, to establishing income requirements on the HOPE Scholarship program, and even to wrangling over the Nation’s debt ceiling, our elected officials have a real, tangible effect on our jobs, educations, and wallets.

Let’s take the issue of jobs for recent college graduates.  Yes, there are very few to be had, but it is not fully understood why.

Deregulation of the capital markets, as decreed by Congress in the late 90s, led to massive bank failures in late summer of 2008; bank failures and a general fear about the economic outlook arrests consumer demand; diminished demand yields the Great Recession, and, BOOM, now you can’t get a job!  See, connected.

Opting out of the process is not an option for a generation that claims they want change, neither is voting. They are a responsibility. Our generation is lacking in real change because we are waiting or relying on someone else to pick up the ball. We must engage. When our elected officials are not performing in a manner that reflects our best interest, we must vote them out. Out voice, our vote – it’s all connected. We Count!

Carolyn Rodriguez-Monden is a Georgia Political Strategist. She is Georgia WAND’s We Count! Director. Carolyn also serves on the board of Georgia's WIN List. She is the proud mother to 4 year old Benjamin and they reside in Cobb.

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