by Dr. Patricia Schall
Get out and vote! It is one of the most important things you can do as an American citizen. My old high school social studies teacher, Mr. Sloan, always reminded us that voting in the primaries was critical since we get to select the candidates who will run in the general elections in the fall. This is our chance to shape our political lives for years to come.
Don’t take your right to vote for granted. Many of our predecessors struggled for this right. Ratified on February 3, 1870, the Fifteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibited state governments from denying a citizen the right to vote based on “race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” With the ratification of that amendment, Black freedman earned the right to vote. Women in the USA, regardless of race, did not earn the right to vote until the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified on August 18, 1920. This is not ancient history!
Vote as if your life depends on it. It does! Let your voice be heard! Your vote counts.
“People say, what is the sense of our small effort? They cannot see that we must lay one brick at a time, take one step at a time. A pebble cast into a pond causes ripples that spread in all directions. Each one of our thoughts, words and deeds is like that. No one has a right to sit down and feel hopeless. There is too much work to do.”
New Jersey Council of Teachers of English, the New Jersey state affiliate of NCTE, the National Council of Teachers of English