As the expression goes, we live in difficult and unpredictable times. The world feels like it’s upside down – and it’s very unclear when and how it will right itself. We’ve been warned about pandemic risks for the last twenty years. More sadly, Black People have lived with the scourge of racism in America for 400 years. 2020 will forever mark a shift in our country and our culture – a demarcation point that will either lead to recovery and reconciliation…or continued suffering and inequity. The question we all must ask is “What can I do?”
That simple statement has made me immensely uncomfortable. How could I, as a thoughtful, self-proclaimed “civic engineer,” have done so little about these and other problems? Global warming. Lack of health care. Income inequities. Pandemic and disaster exposure. As the most painful example, I was certainly aware that racism in various forms persists across our country, but I was clearly blind to the daily fear and anguish amongst People of Color. There is a huge difference between intellectual understanding and emotional appreciation. I’ve started a journey – and have a long way to go.
In all this thinking, I have reached one important conclusion: we all have to own the problems. And fixing these issues starts with a simple act. We all have to vote.
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