This is the fourth election year that She+ Geeks Out is involved in getting out the vote. Let’s quickly recap:
- In 2016, we made the conscious decision to go from an apolitical organization to a politically engaged one. You can read why here.
- In 2018, we hosted an incredible panel discussion with three progressive women in Massachusetts. Each was running to oust their Democratic Party incumbents to reflect the change we want to see. We also shared a list of local candidates who are women. This information was surprisingly challenging to find, so we tried to make it easy.
- In 2020, we temporarily rebranded ourselves for the election to She+ Votes Out. At this point, we’re guessing you know why, but you can read about it here.
As an organization, we’re engaging once again in this election cycle, and we want to make it very clear how we view the connection between our work and elections. Our mission is to abolish inequity in the workplace. We chose to focus on this particular space because, for many of us, work is where we spend most of our waking hours, and in many ways, it’s a microcosm of the world around us. We interact with people we have to interact with, not just want to interact with. And we do so for a common purpose.
Elections and government impact our everyday lives in invisible and visible ways – at work, at home, at the grocery store, and yes, even at the gas pump. However, at the heart of it, elections are fundamentally about people– we vote for and select certain individuals to represent, advocate for, and make laws on behalf of other groups of people. We, as a company, aren’t immune to elections, government, and politics. We know in order to live our values and support our community, we must remind ourselves and our community that this matters, now more than ever.
Some are arguing that this election may be the most significant election our democracy has ever faced. After the terrorist attack of January 6, 2021, and the support of that attack from actual members of Congress (even those who ran away), one thing has become clear. We have a radical wing inching closer to full power. They’re telling us what they plan to do, and they’re so confident that we’re too exhausted to care that they don’t feel the need to hide it. They want:
- a national ban on women’s reproductive freedom,
- a rollback of marriage equality,
- an inhumane approach to immigration,
- a continuation of making the rich even richer, and
- an end to any conversation (whether that be books, trainings, or even saying words) that might raise questions around our collective responsibility to be kinder, better humans to each other.
While all of this is horrifying to us, the one thing that strikes us as the most fearful is taking away our right to vote, which is the bedrock of our democracy and something that people have literally fought and died for. To quote the late US Congressman John Lewis, “The vote is the most powerful, non-violent tool we have in a democratic society.” Don’t forget that if just 538 more people in Florida had voted for Al Gore, he would have become president, and perhaps climate change would look a lot different than it does today.
Voting matters. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
Nothing seems scarier for those who wish to impose the will of the few than making it easy for everyone to vote. Those in power have taken a two-step approach – they’re making it harder to vote, and they’re working to delegitimize voting. If that isn’t authoritarianism, we’re not sure what is.
But we won’t be fooled. We must continue to vote. We must encourage others to vote. Obviously, conservatives get it. Why would they bother to vote if they truly didn’t think voting worked? They know better. Some might say that we shouldn’t participate in systems because systems are corrupt. Here at She+ Geeks Out, we view this conundrum through our ‘yes, and’ lens. The systems we’re currently operating in are corrupt, and we must participate in them to change them so that they work for everybody. It’s the only way.
So vote, tell your friends to vote, and join us on October 4th for a virtual letter-writing event to encourage our fellow citizens who aren’t sure if they should vote to do so. Because if enough of us don’t do it, this may be the last time our vote will count.