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This blog series will focus on the Baton Rouge community and issues we, as a young professional organization, can make an impact or start a discussion on.

 

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There are no small, unimportant elections

Posted By Jessica Keasler, Wednesday, October 31, 2018

“There are no small, unimportant elections,” said Michael Victorian, member of 100 Black Men of Metro Baton Rouge, Ltd, to a full room on LSU’s campus Tuesday morning. I was already planning on voting in this election but hearing his words I was compelled to go the polls for early voting.  

 

As a leader of Forum 35, I was invited to attend the Civic Engagement Breakfast, which featured a panel of community leaders. The breakfast was part of a symposium put on by LSU: Behind the Ballot: Examining the Influences and Trends Driving Modern Elections, featuring two days packed full of topics and amazing speakers.

 

The overall message was clear among the panelists, civic engagement begins with voting. Donald Cravins, Jr. of the National Urban League echoed that message saying ‘Some of you will be disappointed when your candidate doesn’t win. Some will be disappointed when your candidate wins but turns out to not be who you thought. Civic engagement isn’t just one vote. It’s showing up and engaging in conversation.' This really resonated with me, especially upon hearing the statistics that half of millennials aren’t voting. I used to be part of that non-voting cohort.

 

As the largest workplace, and group with the largest buying power, millennials should be a proportionally large influential group when it comes to politics. So, here is my challenge to you: vote on November 6th. Vote again on December 8th. Go to the polls every time there is an opportunity to. Don’t let the results of the elections stop your engagement. Let your elected officials know where you stand on issues. Go to public meetings, council meetings and use other venues to find out information on issues that matter to you. Get engaged.

 

As members of Forum 35, we all want a better Baton Rouge, it’s in our mission statement after all. Exercising your right to vote and following that up with civic engagement is definitely a way to work toward our mission. We may not all agree on every issue/candidate, but I strongly believe we ought to not only be the voice behind change, but be the action that causes it.

 

 

 

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