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Why I Vote

A photo series showcasing VOICES behind the vote.

Election day is Nov 3rd, 2020 and now more than ever, we need to raise our voices and be heard. Go to Vote.org for resources and information in your area.

This collection of images features friends, family, and clients who have graciously shared why they are voting this year or why voting matters to them. The hope is to bring some connectivity and humanity to today's landscape where so many of us feel disconnected.

"Voting has always been very meaningful to me, and something that I have participated in my whole life. When I was in 4th grade, I knocked on hundreds of doors to get a local proposition passed to save our county libraries. Activism and debate are important, but voting is ultimately the way to change our country."

GEO
SEATTLE, WA

"This election is literally a matter of life and death. I’m voting so we as a people have a chance to survive. I’m voting for black lives. I’m voting to save our planet from climate change. I’m voting for the hundreds of thousands of people who lost their lives from Coronavirus, a pandemic that could have been avoided."

SARA
LOS ANGELES, CA

"I vote because I want a more fair and just world for my boys. My hope is for them to know what good leadership looks like. I want them to know that if they don't like what's happening all around us that they can take action themselves, that their opinions & ideas matter. I vote because I hope that, one day, we can again be proud of our country."

GINA
SEATTlE, WA

I VOTE BECAUSE

"We vote because it is our civic duty. We vote to protect the rights of the marginalized and oppressed. We vote for those who don’t have the privilege not to. We vote to honor the thousands that came before us to fight for our rights. We vote to honor our marriage, because otherwise this would just be a photo of two men rather than legally recognized as husbands by the federal government."

Nate & Kelly

SEATTLE, WA

"As a womxn and the wife of an immigrant in 2020, I am voting to honor the legacies of voting and immigration rights activists who fought so hard for foundational rights to having our voices heard and our presence acknowledged. My vote this year is in solidarity with Dreamers, refugees, first, second, third generation immigrant families, blended immigration families, folks without papers and all those who are moving through the UCIS process during this pandemic and every year." 

Catherine

SEATTLE, WA

"You can't fit all the reasons I'm voting this year into one post but, to keep it simple, I'm voting because it's my responsibility to honor the people who fought for my right to vote. It's my responsibility to know what's happening in my community and vote for the people and causes that will make it a better place for everyone. I'm voting because I believe our country can heal with the right people in office."

EMILY
LOS ANGELES, CA

"I’ve never considered myself an exceptionally patriotic person. I love the entire world, and as an American woman with the right to vote I see it as a responsibility to the rest of the world as well. American politics don’t only affect American citizens. This August I had the chance to work at my polling place for the primary election and I have every intention to work again in November. It gave me a new appreciation for what it means to so many to have their voice heard. Vote and do whatever you can to support the democratic process in your communities...I promise you won’t regret it!"

JESSIE
DETROIT, MI

"I vote to make a better future for him. I vote so our ceiling will be my sons floor. We vote so he can have a much better future then we ever did. We vote because we care about the world around us and the people in it. We vote so he can learn he can learn he can do hard things, have great beliefs when the world around you is awful, and in the midst of uncertainty chose to the power to think for yourself, be free to pick your own paths and always be learning and walking in empathy around you. We vote because community is everything and when people come together powerful things happen. We vote because we care about humanity. We vote because each voice has a story and makes an impact and we all deserve the chance to be heard."

SHELLY
SEATTLE, WA

"I'm voting because I believe in the dignity and worth of every human being."

KERRI
UNION CITY, CA

"I vote every year in every election because freedom isn’t free. It’s a collaborative process that requires participation. If you want to own the results, you gotta contribute to the process!"

JOE
SEATTLE, WA

"Our rights are not guaranteed. We are reminded daily by our current administration that this democracy isn't guaranteed either. Our ancestors fought and died to have their voices heard and I am obligated to honor that. I'm voting because against all odds, I believe we are better than we've been. I'm voting for the future, for bravery, for optimism, for acknowledging and learning from the past, for doing better, for radical change and radical healing. (Also duh, I'm voting to get Cheeto out of office because HE NEEDS TO GO.)"

MARIE
OAKLAND, CA

"So many American men and women fought and sacrificed themselves for this country and for democracy so that we can have the freedoms and privileges we have today. We are so fortunate because there are people in other parts of the world who would give anything, even their own lives, for the freedom to vote. Thus, it's not only my right but it IS my duty as a US citizen to vote. It is also an honor as an American. If I don't cast my ballot and have my voice heard, I have no right to complain."

LELIA
BOTHELL, WA

"We are all voting this year because we believe in showing up in and for our community and one of the many ways we can do that is by exercising our right to vote."

Brunchbox

SEATTLE, WA

“I am voting this year because as a young woman in this country I believe it is crucial that we use our platform to equalize the gender gap in society. This could be the pay gap, abortion rights, eradicating the higher likely hood of African American women dying during childbirth, and of course defending those who have been sexually assaulted and de-stigmatizing those who come out and ask for help. I also believe that equal rights for all human beings, ignoring their gender, sexual, orientation and color of their skin is a fight that we have fought for way too long and I am voting to play a part in ending that fight.”

Isabelle

SEATTLE, WA

"The first time I was eligible to vote was 2008. I was going to the City College of New York and living in Harlem. I stood in line waiting for my turn to cast a ballot and could feel a palpable sense of hope, joy, and electricity that day. I'm voting to bring that feeling back. I'm voting for the Green New Deal, Black Lives Matter, and Universal Healthcare. I'm voting because it's my duty as an American."

SEAN
PETALUMA, CA

"I vote because I know we can do better. It is important to me that I show my beliefs through my voting. I want our sons to see us set an example in our care for others and as we fight for what we believe is right- and that begins with voting. I vote to support those whose voices that need and deserve amplification."

ASHLEY
EDMONDS, WA

"I can't excuse not exercising my right to vote when too many people have fought too long and hard for that right, and while many still don't have it."

JASON
SEATTLE, WA

"Voting matters deeply to me because it is yet another extension of how we can all demonstrate empathy in action. Whether it's a local or national election, how we vote is a reflection of our humanity. For me personally, my vote is about supporting the best interests of those most marginalized by systems that have never once worked in their favor. Voting with intersectionality and equity at top of mind is what connects my vote to my heart."

RACHEL
PORTLAND, OR

"I can’t wait to vote this year! It’s an act of optimism and a huge privilege. There was a time when people like me couldn’t vote, so making my voice heard is also a way to honor those who came before me. Voter suppression is real, and there are still people who don’t want communities of color to rise up and make our voices heard, so for me, that’s as good a motivation as ever. Oh, you don’t want me to vote? Then I’m definitely gonna vote. And I’m gonna make sure my friends vote. And I’m gonna vote in a way that makes sure we steer back in the direction of taking good care of all people, especially those who need it most.

Krista

SEATTLE, WA

"I vote in hope that someday, we will see diverse people representing all of the diverse demographics in this country. We must and can do more, and do better to represent all voices!"

Kimber

SEATTLE, WA

"My vote has never felt more important than it does this year. There is so much at stake in ensuring we are becoming a more equitable, accepting and forward-thinking society. I just welcomed my first child into this crazy world and the future has never felt so real... I want her to be able to breath fresh air and explore nature, live in a diverse and tolerant community, understand the value of education and science, and have confidence and pride in her own vote someday. Across the last few months and years it’s frightening to think that those seemingly simple expectations for ourselves and our children are in question... that’s why I vote!"

BIZZY
OAKLAND, CA

"I'm voting for the 210,000+ people who have died of Covid-19. I'm voting for the millions of people who have lost their jobs, cannot afford to eat, are being kicked out of their homes, and have lost their health insurance due to the pandemic. I'm voting for all the children that have been separated from their parents and are being kept in cages. I'm voting because systemic racism is real and is still in this country. I'm voting because Black Lives Matter. I'm voting because we're killing our planet and change needs to happen now. I'm voting for truth. I'm voting for a brighter, healthier, and peaceful future."

ALEX
SEATTLE, WA

"I grew up in DC and always felt very empowered to vote; recently I met a man of color who told me he has never voted, and it made me cry. To feel that disenfranchised by your country. So I vote because I was raised to do and I feel empowered by it. I don’t blame those who don’t/aren’t."

CHRISTINE
Raleigh, NC

"The last thing we should do is give up when the world needs us most. As long as possibilities remain, we have an obligation to the next generations to do everything we can to grow and impact the future. We cannot and should not go back to the way things were, we’ve got a whole new world to build from here."

LINDSEY
SAN FRANCISCO, CA

"As a mixed woman I've always felt a strong duty to vote. My life, my rights, my ability to say what I think free from harm, and my privilege to go after my dreams is the result of many hard fought battles and untold struggles. It's always mattered to me to honor them and to participate in our democracy. There's so much work to be done to improve upon the framework our founders laid out (ahem, a new constitution anyone?), but that doesn't mean I will pass up my opportunity to make my mark, stand up for what I believe, and keep pushing to make this country a more equitable society. This year, I'm voting to reject white supremacy. I'm voting to stand up for Black lives. I'm voting because if we don't take enhanced actions to support our earth, we will no longer have this beautiful home. I'm voting because of the hundreds of thousands who have lost their lives to this pandemic and the countless others who lost jobs, businesses, and hope in the wreckage. I'm voting because no matter how thrilled (or not thrilled) I may be with a candidate, it still matters to show the hell up, because we can. Let's show up. "

Danielle

SEATTLE, WA

"There’s just too much at stake this election season to sit on the sidelines. “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”"

MARC
UNION CITY, CA

"I am voting for decency and compassion. I am voting for science, and for someone who will trust the advice of the experts in the room. I am voting to curb climate change and for the planet that my future children will call home. I am voting for Black lives. For George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and the countless others taken too soon. I am voting on behalf of the 217,832 and counting Americans who lost their lives to Covid-19. I am voting for the Affordable Care Act and for women to make their own decisions about their bodies. I am voting for the legacy of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. I am voting for someone who will lead by example and who will bring us together rather than tearing us apart."

MacKenzie

SEATTLE, WA

"I vote because it's one of the easiest ways to play a part in shaping the world not only for ourselves, but for future generations. The issues we advocate for today will be critical in the years to come, and voting is a great equalizer that allows each of us to raise our voices—collectively—to make meaningful, tangible change."

PAM
SEATTLE, WA

"I vote to be involved in my community and I am so very fortunate to have the freedom and privilege to use my voice through voting. I want a better future for me, my community and future generations and voting is a way to create those changes that I wish to see for us."

JEN
EL SEGUNDO, CA

"I vote to exercise my right for my voice to be heard. To help guide this country to change for good, for inclusion, for equality, and for the planet."

LIZ
Nashville, TN

"Voting is important to me because we need to be able to make our voices heard. We need to take advantage of every opportunity to speak our truth and share what we believe, and to make sure that we are being represented by people who care. I vote for the right to choose what I do with my own body. I vote to help dismantle the systemic racism of our country. I vote because even though I am just one person, I have the right to be heard and represented. I vote because I care about other people."

HAILEY
SEATTLE, WA

"At times I get stuck in a dark place where I can’t see how change can happen or how I can make any impact on systems that currently and historically leave us in a wake of disconnection from each other’s humanity and the destruction that results from that. It can overwhelm me and make me feel paralyzed. I think this feeling is actually some of the purpose behind these systems, to overwhelm to the point that individuals become hopeless and stop trying. I vote because I won’t stop trying. I vote because even when it doesn’t feel like enough, I believe we all deserve to be treated with love and respect. I vote because my heart is broken for all who hear that they are not worthy, not important. That they don’t come from the “right” place, have the “right” skin color, identify as the “right” gender, the “right sexuality, have the “right” body, etc. The list goes on and on with ways we steal each other’s humanity and I vote because we can and have to do better. I vote because I believe that any system that perpetuates harm needs to be ripped apart and we have the power together to do that even when it’s overwhelming."

Nicole

EDMONDS, WA

"I’m voting because I want my kids to have the opportunity to grow up in a better world. Voting has always been important to me, but never more so than right now. Despite what some people may believe, every single vote matters. Now is not the time to be complacent or apathetic."

JEN
KIRKLAND, WA

"I'm voting because I have the opportunity to help support a positive change in our country. As important as every election is, this particular vote is especially urgent. There are too many qualities I miss from the previous administration to mention, but a few stand out as a basic right for every person. They are, unfortunately, noticeably absent today: inclusion, education, and a fundamental understanding that we need to take care of each other, no matter how different we may be. With our vote, we can reinstall these qualities in November."

MATT
SEATTLE, WA

"I vote to use my voice, and amplify others. Because we're in crisis, not helpless. Voting isn't everything but it does represent hope, and change, and a chance to leave this place better than we found it."

BETH
KIRKLAND, WA

"I care about the world my son and his peers are growing up in, the education they receive and the role models being presented to them on a daily basis. I actively want our world to improve through kindness, opportunity and education. Voting is one opportunity I can influence that. There are a lot of things in the world we can't control. By voting, being an advocate, learning and finding candidates we believe in- we not only get a chance to have some control, but also get the opportunity to talk with family and friends about what is important to us. Even if our candidate doesn't win, it builds community to help make the changes and support the things important to us."

CHELSEA
SEATTLE, WA

"I vote because I'm:
A mental health therapist and social worker. This year’s violence has shown that we need to fund the education of those other professionals that may come in connect with the mentally ill. There are different skills needed than force to appropriately and ethically handle mental illness. 

An aunt. I have 2 beautiful mixed race nieces. I want to give them the opportunities for acceptance and success that I was given simply by having my white skin. I can’t protect them from all racism, but I can practice anti-racist actions.

A woman. Voting wasn’t always a given for us women. I’m proud of the many American women that fought so hard to give me the opportunity. As one of my heroes died this year RBG, the fight continues even more in her honor."

Hope

DENVER, CO

"I grew up in a household where we had passionate conversations around the dining room table relating to current events and the political climate.Throughout elementary school and beyond, I always had the opportunity to "vote" in mock presidential polls. To me informed voting is fundamental, it was a foundational piece of my upbringing and education. As a White woman in America, I feel it is critical (particularly in this 2020 election) to cast my vote on behalf of the populations that are marginalized and disenfranchised by the systems, institutions and politics that silence their votes and voices. This is why I vote!"

STACY
SEATTLE, WA

— MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

Election day is Nov 3rd, 2020 and now more than ever, we need to raise our voices and be heard. Go to Vote.org for resources and information in your area.