Showing Up and Showing Out
They stood in line for hours. Blogged. Tweeted. Shared political cartoons via Facebook. Held debate watch parties. Conversed in barbershops, restaurants, and on the streets. Translated verbosely worded initiatives into layman’s terms. Carpooled to the polls. In many ways, voters showed up to the event formerly known as the 2012 Election Cycle. Thus one question remains. While voters showed up in 2012, are they willing to show out in 2013, in 2014 and 2015?
Voting is an integral component of civic engagement and as Newark, New Jersey Mayor Cory Booker pointed out, community service, mentorship, local political engagement and accountability are also crucial aspects of such. Dreams and Dream Acts begin with you. Teaching our youth and education reform requires your participation. Economic recovery necessitates making your voice heard on all levels.
Taking part in the election cycle momentum? That’s showing up. Continuing the work when the celebration/commiseration is over? That’s showing out. As President Obama reminded us in his acceptance speech, “we have determined the right to choose our own destiny. […] Tonight, you voted for action.” After all of the campaign ads, stump speeches, debates and fact checking, one thing remains—there is work to be done. Let’s get to it.