by Carjamin Scott on August 6, 2019 at 9:30 p.m. CST
Roosevelt voted for Gicola Lane, a Nashville Metro Council at-large candidate. Lane shared that this was Roosevelt’s first time voting, he didn’t even vote for Obama! Although Lane did not win, I hope that both first timers remain actively engaged in the process. I hope Roosevelt is able to improve his situation and Lane will continue to fight for a Nashville that represents all of us rather than a few.
Politicians win because they serve the people who vote for them. Johnnie Turner once said, “Politics and politicians control every aspect of our lives.” Let that marinate for a moment. You might say, duh, I know that. But let’s truly marinate on this. Again, politicians win because they serve the people who vote for them. So, which politicians are serving the Roosevelts of our community?
Most of us are not members of the upper class and the Pew research center reports, “since 2016, income disparity between the classes has grown.” At one time, I blamed myself for what I lacked, like most working class and poor people do. I thought that maybe I needed more education, maybe I needed to work harder, maybe I needed to leave my community behind and befriend only people who appeared to have more than me. I figured that lack of money was bad and it was my fault that I did not have any. The last thing I was concerned about was midterm elections.
Midterm elections? Really? Why would a policy maker care about me? Why would I waste my gas money to go to a voting booth? Why would I give away my time to stand in line at the polls? And what 18 year old, would dare ask their boss for time off to go vote? I had no idea that voting was my right and that I should request time off to honor my civic duty.
Plus, I hate to admit this; but, I didn’t know who was truly responsible for securing my neighborhood. And even if I did, I never thought that the person would care about what I thought about their leadership or lack thereof.
However, I’ve grown from my limited thinking and learned that I need to educate the people who come from the community I’m from. It’s our responsibility to hold our leaders accountable and tell them what we need.
I am no Roosevelt and I do not know his story. But what I do know is, we need to stop blaming poor people for being poor. We need to work together to restore hope to our poor and marginalized communities. These voiceless communities need our help more than others. We need to collectively vote for politicians that exhibit high moral character, integrity, and opportunity for all. No matter your socioeconomic class, it’s all of our responsibility.
Photo Credit: Gicola Lane here
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Carjamin Scott can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and you can follow her on twitter @scottcarjie, instagram @carjiescott, and facebook at Dr. Carjie Scott.