Presidential election years are always important, but 2020 feels significant. Between the country's economic challenges, the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, and a wave of conversations around racial and social injustices, 2020's election holds more weight. It's more urgent and more important than any other election year in recent memory.
2020 also marks the 100th anniversary of the adoption of the Nineteenth Amendment, which gave (White) women in America the right to vote. At BAM, we believe diverse stories move the world. We also know that the best way to ensure diverse stories are heard is to elect diverse voices into leadership positions. That's why BAM has made Election Day 2020, Tuesday November 3, a holiday for the entire BAM team. We want to ensure our team members are able to fully participate in one of the most historic election years in our country's history.
To honor this news, we asked our BAM team, "What does the right to vote mean to you?" Here's what they had to say:
"Voting is important to me because I have a voice and I want to use it. Each individual brings a unique perspective to this world and this country, and it's paramount to not only listen to these different perspectives but to voice your own opinion, too. I'm want to take part in the change." – Amanda Mieczkowski, Senior Account Executive
"The right to vote is what our country is all about. It's a right that should be honored by taking the time to let our choices be heard. It means that even though I have a small voice, I still have one and all these little voices come together and make one huge impact. It's a sense of contribution." – Mike Zucconi, Account Manager
"Voting is important to me because there are so many things in this country that need our collective voices to demand action and change. There are countries that don't give their citizens this option and issues go unnoticed and unresolved. Despite popular opinion, your vote DOES MATTER. This November is another chance for us to stand up and say, 'Enough is enough.'" – Jenny Bourne, Account Executive
"Voting is actually easy but they make it seem like it's hard. That pattern is why I know I need to vote. At this point, beggars cannot be choosers and voting is low hanging fruit. I trust what my ancestors have fought for and if it doesn't work, at least I tried." — Ramel Wallace, Community Manager
"In 2008, I lived in downtown Chicago. I took the day off of work, stood in line at the local school for hours to vote for Obama. Later that evening we all spilled out into the streets to celebrate such an historic event. Here in the Chicago suburbs, all schools are closed on election days — local, primaries, and federal. I always make sure I take my daughter with me to experience the process, discuss what all the people are doing standing outside, and why we wait in line. I requested this fall's mail in ballot in June. While I have yet to receive it and hope the postal service can support the demand, I will find a local drop box instead of sending back through the mail." — Laura Nickel, Account Director
"Voting is important to me because of how hard certain groups have worked to make it extremely difficult for others to vote. Whether through the law, gerrymandering, stripping felons of their rights as citizens, or one of the other many diabolical and ingenious methods some have used. This work to strip or manipulate some peoples' right to a representative government makes it clear how powerful the people are, and the key way to show that power is to vote. If it wasn't a means to power for the disenfranchised, those currently in power wouldn't work so hard to take it from others." – Austin Carter, Director of Partnerships & Client Engagement
"The older I grow, the more I understand how important it is to speak up, share my perspective, and voice my opinions. Voting during an election is critical, and there are other ways we vote each day, too — with our money, with our mindset, and with our behavior. If we don't, we can't expect anything to change." — Brenda Manea, Account Manager
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