“The right to vote is precious and almost sacred, and one of the most important blessings of our democracy. Today we must be vigilant in protecting that blessing. The history of the right to vote in America is a history of conflict, of struggling for the right to vote. Many people died trying to protect that right. I was beaten, and jailed because I stood up for it. For millions like me, the struggle for the right to vote is not mere history; it is experience.”
–John Lewis, Civil Rights Leader, Congressman
Being in a union is about having a voice—a voice at the workplace and at the bargaining table—but also a voice about the future of our cities, our state and our country. Yet, many of us are failing to exercise our “almost sacred” right, as John Lewis calls it, of voting.
In recent weeks, the Courts have struck down voter suppression laws in Wisconsin, Texas, North Dakota, Kansas, and North Carolina. The Courts rightly acknowledged that these voting restrictions were targeted at poor and minority communities trying to take away their voice in our democracy. We should make no mistake that our right to exercise our voice is under attack. We must pass the Washington Voting Rights Act to ensure that all communities have a chance for representation in local elections. We must stop the practice of purging thousands of Washingtonians off the voter rolls every year. UFCW 21 will continue to push reforms that make voting more accessible to everyone in our state.
Even with all of this, we still live in a place where we have great access to voting. We have weeks to mail in our ballots and no one has to wait in long lines at the polls or hope to get the day off on a Tuesday in November.
The greatest threat to this sacred right isn’t voter suppression; it's voter inaction and cynicism. It is a system that is designed to convince you that your voice and your vote doesn’t matter.
After every election we internally examine our own UFCW 21 member turnout. We don’t see how people vote, but only if they vote. The conclusion is clear, when workers vote good things happen. We elect candidates that work to protect our jobs and make our workplaces safer, we pass paid sick leave and raise wages.
This year, no matter who you vote for, don’t give up your sacred right. Join over 47,000 of your fellow UFCW 21 members—register to vote, mail in your ballot, and make your voice heard. Don't Be Silent—VOTE