Elections matter. They can determine not only who represents us and our values — but also how we live our lives. The new slate of state leaders presented to you on Tuesday, November 8 includes a new Pennsylvania governor and a new U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania. These people determine voting rights, women’s reproductive rights, gun laws, education policy, and tax policy, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania — and the country.
Philadelphia has long fought for a seat at the table when it comes to decision-making in Harrisburg and Washington, D.C. On November 8, voters will get to decide whether they want John Fetterman or Mehmet Oz to represent them in the U.S. Senate — and Doug Mastriano or Josh Shapiro to lead our commonwealth as governor.
The contrasts between candidates are stark.
That means it’s in our hands, as voters — as are myriad other important and fundamental issues facing our state, country and even democracy itself.
Which is to say: Voting matters. And you should do it, whether by mail or in person on November 8. (We have all the information you need to make an informed decision about who’s on the ballot here.)
Need more convincing — or ideas for how to convince your friends and family to vote? Read on.
Why Philly must vote on November 8:
THIS ELECTION IS CRUCIAL TO PHILADELPHIA + PENNSYLVANIA.
- The balance of the U.S. Senate is on the line. Pennsylvania Republican Senator Pat Toomey is stepping down, leaving his seat open. Who Pennsylvania sends to Washington, D.C. could flip the currently evenly split U.S. legislative body to majority Democratic or Republican.
- Your vote for senator allows you to choose who reflects our state … and who doesn’t. Does what their campaigns have been telling you about Oz or Fetterman matter to you? Or, are you voting on based on their disparate promises and beliefs when it comes to the economy, the environment, minimum wage, bodily autonomy, and more?
- The governor’s race will determine who will lead our state for at least the next four years — including how our elections are run. Whom do you trust the to make the decisions you favor, Shapiro or Mastriano?
- Four Philadelphia City Council seats up are up grabs in a special election. Will this be the year a moderate Republican makes a foray into City Hall?
- Two ballot questions will determine how the Philadelphia International Airport is run, and who gets a boost when it comes to applying for any of the City’s hundreds of vacant civil service jobs.
KIDS ARE COUNTING ON YOU.
- Children are counting on you. It’s hard to be a young person in America these days, especially during the pandemic. They feel under threat from violence, debt, a lack of jobs where they live, schools that don’t meet up to the challenge, a mental health crisis that is overwhelming. For those who can’t vote yet, your voice matters; for those who can, your voice still matters.
- Dozens of inspiring young people in Philadelphia and Pennsylvania are doing everything they can to get their peers to vote, from Lorene Cary’s VoteThatJawn to Tom Quinn’s PA Youth Vote, to SEAMAAC’s incredible outreach work. Let’s set a good example.
THIS IS PHILLY, YO.
- An old ad slogan went: “Philadelphia Isn’t as Bad as Philadelphians Say It Is.” We are vote-supporting, puppet-making, spontaneous dancers, for goodness sake. Casting a ballot is a vote for the future of our great city.
THIS IS AMERICA, DAMNIT.
- Democracy is — no exaggeration — at risk in America. Last year, according to the Brennan Center, 19 states passed 34 laws that limited access to voting, and nearly 450 other bills were introduced in 49 states — including Pennsylvania. Are we really going to let the enemies of democracy get away with that?
- Good leaders matter. It’s not enough to fight against those who are making decisions for us. We have to ensure the right officials are overseeing our health and well-being. Your life may literally depend on it.
- It’s habit-forming. Research shows that voting begets more voting. Which means, you just need to start.
- The movement towards racial equity that was jumpstarted after the murder of George Floyd is not a self-fulfilling prophecy. It will take hard work, from all of us, to ensure we create a fairer world. Voting for those whose values align with this mission is the easiest part.
- If you don’t vote, then the message to our “elected” leaders is clear: You don’t care. The list of who votes is public (though not who you vote for). And politicians often make decisions based on that information. Want your state representative to care about young people? Then young people need to vote. Ditto any other demographic, ditto you.
- Is there a better excuse to cut out of work early or show up late?
- Vote because you can.
MORE FROM THE CITIZEN ON THE 2022 MIDTERM ELECTIONSHeader photo by Phillip Goldsberry on Unsplash