As a young Latina living in Miami, I am fortunate to blend right in. I move through my city without feeling terribly different from those around me. This, I recognize, is an immense privilege. I am blessed to have been born in this tiny, colorfully diverse pocket within the nation, and the lack of threat to my well-being — at least here in Miami — allows me to move through the city without fearing for my life.
But I also recognize that it’s my duty — as the daughter of immigrants, as a woman of color, as an LBGTQ ally,
People of Miami: Are you ready and willing to do the same? Women’s Movement Now, a progressive organization comprised of a grassroots group of females in their 20s and 30s who support each other's career growth, activism, civic engagement, and curiosity, has put together an exceptionally handy voter guide to make your experience at the polls seamless.
The WMN voter guide is a comprehensive, bipartisan, and well-researched tool to help you come to your decisions. Formally put together by WMN members Krystina Francois, Gabriela Guzman, Mara Leventhal, and Leah Weston, the WMN guide objectively analyzed key politicians and amendments in an effort to demystify confusing language for local voters.
“It started out with us wanting to go fill out our ballots together,” Guzman says, “but then we realized that the act of voting in solidarity might benefit a much larger group."
On a Sunday morning at CIC Miami, 14 women gathered to discuss every candidate and amendment on the 2018 ballot. “Many of the women who helped us write this guide work for city or county government, so they have incredible insight as to how these amendments might actually work in practice,” Guzman says. “So, we heard a lot about what goes on behind the scenes, or what has happened when a similar amendment was passed in another state.”
WMN organizers also stressed that they aren’t a partisan organization, but rather arrived at their recommendations based on what might be best for the greater good. The group’s voter guide is available in two parts: a lengthy, issue-by-issue document, and a handy, easy-to-read graphic you can keep on your phone as a cheat sheet for the polls.
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Floridians, especially, can no longer afford to play hooky on Election Day. In 2014, our last midterm election, Florida saw just a 37 percent turnout. Frankly, that’s unacceptable, and more so now than ever. In Florida, disastrous policies carried out by Rick Scott’s administration led to the red tide epidemic, budget cuts for our most significant cultural institutions, and unfettered gentrification in our most at-risk neighborhoods. And for thousands of marginalized communities across the nation — people of color, women, LBGTQ
In this pivotal moment in American history, an era in which millions of women, people of color, LBGTQ individuals, and immigrants are under attack; in which establishment policies and corporate coffers are silencing the will of the people; and congressional gerrymandering and voter laws are reorganizing districts and suppressing millions of people from their right to vote, it’s more important than ever to show up to the damn polls. It’s notable that early voting in Florida showed Republican voters coming out in significantly higher numbers than Democrats.
There are a million reasons not to show up and vote, but just one reason why you can't sit this one out. Whatever you feel about the state of politics in America, show up to the polls