As a kid growing up in America, I was told all the things American kids are told growing up: We’re the best country in the world; we’re afforded freedoms no one else in the world has; we’re capable of doing anything in our lives; one of the most important things we can do as adults is exercise out right to pick our representatives in government. Since those days, I’ve come to face the harsh realities of these ideals. But then, there was this once in a lifetime moment when the country resonated with an energy no one could remember ever feeling before. Several generations felt, for the first time, like they understood what it was to be American.
That moment came in 2008, and although I was months shy of voting age, I felt like I was a part of history. As I’m sure you’re aware that we elected our first African-American president that year – a man who stood for Hope and for Change.
Of course it would be silly to say that everyone felt as unified or excited on the night in November 2008, when Barack Obama made his acceptance speech from a stage in Chicago. Today will decide if Obama gets 4 more years; and we have what seems like even greater opposition.
Although I was an early Hillary supporter, I was happy to get (ideologically) behind a candidate who united and inspired so many people. And despite the fact that this story is hardly ever told, Obama can still bring tears to a middle-aged man’s eyes.
That is the man I hope will be elected today. This is the man who I have thought about every day for the last several months and the man I want to see make another acceptance speech tonight, after I’ve gingerly removed the worn-out boots from my exhausted feet.
See, today, I am serving on the board of elections in Philadelphia, PA’s 33rd ward, 6th district. Two years after Obama was elected to a first term, I was elected committee woman in our district, along with my dad, and I have worked each Election Day in sunshine and in rain. Normally my father and I stand outside the polls, handing out literature to voters as they head in to make their vote – but this year, due to the death of our long-time Judge of Elections (a sweet old woman who had done it for 40 years), I’m working at the table inside where voters sign in.
As I sit in the ‘front row’ of my polling place, I’ll report back about my experience via Flurt!’s twitter so you can see what it’s like spending all day in the maddening crush of people turning out to choose a future for not just America, but really for the world. The only sad thing is so many voters seem to not understand that the decision they make today affects a whole lot of tomorrow’s.
If you have questions or comments feel free to email me throughout the day at firstname.lastname@example.org.