November 3, 2020 is the biggest election of our lives.
You’ve seen the ads. You’ve heard all the hype. You’ve definitely heard all the arguing and no matter which side you are on, you’re probably sick of it all.
Given the intensity and downright meanness in our political world right now you might want to just binge on Netflix and ignore the whole mess.
But you can’t. Because truly, November 3 is the biggest election of our lives. Your future and the health and financial wellbeing of your family are at stake.
We are not being too dramatic here.
All of the candidate say they care about women. Really? Do they care if we have enough money to retire? Do they care if our kids have a shot at a good life? Do they care if we can afford lifesaving healthcare?
It’s not what the people who are on the ballot say—it’s what they represent and who they are looking out for (hint: Us versus big corporations) that will determine our future for years to come.
The issues we care about in our everyday lives, such as affordable healthcare, a clean environment, staying safe from coronavirus, gun safety, reproductive freedom, economic equality and the future of social security are all on the ballot reflected in the candidates we elect.
The media mainly focus on the presidential race; however, the congressional, state and local elections are just as crucial—if not more so—for the issues that impact our lives because of the laws we entrust these elected officials to enact. We need to educate ourselves on the positions of the candidates and the parties they represent, up and down the ballot.
Just look at what is happening on Capitol Hill, where hundreds of bills that were passed this year on a bipartisan basis in the Democratic-controlled U.S. House of Representatives have gone nowhere because Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel (R-KY) refuses to bring them up to be considered. These include several bills that directly affect women:
- Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which seeks to end domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking by improving law enforcement response and funding local programs that support victims.
- The Paycheck Fairness Act, which would strengthen and close loopholes in existing law to ensure women and men are paid the same for equal work.
- The Bipartisan Background Checks Act, a gun violence prevention bill that would require background checks for gun sales and transfers.
- The Equity Act, to ensure that all Americans are protected from discrimination in employment, housing, education, etc.
- The Climate Action Now Act, to combat climate change by remaining in the Paris Climate Accord.
Again, NONE of the above bills have been passed because they are being blocked by Mitch McConnell, who represents the Republicans but sure does not seem to represent women!
Races this year for state legislature seats will impact the 2021 redistricting of congressional and state legislative districts using data from the 2020 census. If a political party wins control of the state legislature in 2020, it will determine voting districts that give it the best chance of holding on to power for the next ten years.
The fate of cases that come before the U.S. Supreme Court is also on the line in this coming election. The next president likely will be able to nominate at least one new Supreme Court member with the advice and consent of the U.S. Senate.
As women, we have great potential to influence the direction of our country and our local government, yet only 63 percent of eligible U.S. women voted in the 2016 election. It was a little better than the 59 percent of eligible men who cast ballots. Imagine the difference that women can make, especially in close elections, if a larger percentage would vote!
If you care about the issues that impact your life and the future wellbeing of your family and friends, it is imperative that you dig into what the candidates will do and VOTE IN THE 2020 ELECTION.