This time of year many start getting tired of the political ads on television. They get tired of the political yard signs that seem to be on every major street corner. Many are tired of the talk, talk, talk….but few stop to think about how this all REALLY affects them.
The election on November 2, 2010, will be one of the most important elections in decades. I would say that each and every election is important, but this election is especially important as it will form the body of policymakers that will be taking us through the most difficult financial times since the Great Depression. Why wouldn’t you want to have a say on who is part of that decision making process?
When you look at the issues facing people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities and their families, it is clear that our issues transcend partisan politics. We have strong champions in both the republican and democrat parties.
Once the state legislative session begins in January, issues impacting people with developmental disabilities will be pitted against many, many other critical issues. Advocates for education, both K-12 and higher ed., transportation, the environment and countless others will be grasping for every dollar they can. I certainly do not discount their need for financial resources. What these means, however, is that we must continue to make sure that our issues, those issues that affect people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities, are also front and center before policy makers.
Nowadays it is easy to vote. You don’t even have to wait until Election Day. Many counties have early voting options already up and running. Absentee ballots are always an option as well. Voting is an American privilege that many take for granted. It is an important privilege that we need to actively participate in. We need to not only cast a vote but cast an educated vote. Take the time to learn about the issues that are priorities for the candidates. Ask candidates questions about the issues that are important to you. Then cast your vote for the person who best brings those issues together.
I hope you take part in the election on November 2, 2010. I hope you take part in the legislative forums The Arc is hosting. I hope you read your local paper and learn about the candidates running in your local community. I hope you decide to take action rather than let action be taken upon you. You have a voice, use it. You have a voice, make it strong. You have a voice, make it count.