Editor’s Note: This op-ed was a submission and does not represent the views of The Temple News, which does not have a political affliliation.
Almost a year ago today, on Nov. 4, 2008, we made history. Young people showed up to the polls in record numbers across the country and on Main Campus to elect Barack Obama and prove that we wanted change in America. Five times more Temple students voted Nov. 4, 2008 than in the presidential election in 2004.
That night, during his victory speech, our president-elect asked us to stay engaged, saying, “What began 21 months ago in the depths of winter must not end on this autumn night. This victory alone is not the change we seek. It is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were. It cannot happen without you.”
Today, we have the perfect opportunity to answer this call, because today is Election Day.
Across the state, Pennsylvania residents will go to the polls today to elect judges to the state’s Supreme Court, Superior Court and Commonwealth Court, and in Philadelphia, we will elect our district attorney, city controller, judge of elections and inspector of elections. Just across the river, New Jersey will elect its governor.
While these races are certainly less glamorous than last year’s presidential election, they are nonetheless incredibly important. There’s a reason people say all politics is local, and these races are about as local as they get. The people elected today will make decisions that will affect our lives as Temple students and Philadelphia residents every day.
We have been defined as the Obama Generation – a generation of politically engaged, politically active young people who vote because it matters. So, today, let’s live up to this expectation. The Pennsylvania Federation of College Democrats is hosting a campaign across Pennsylvania, “Tell 3 to Tell 3 for Nov. 3,” to get the vote out for the Democratic ticket.
I encourage any student who turned out to vote for President Obama last fall to take part in this effort. And I encourage every student to vote. Think about the issues facing Philadelphia that matter to you; think about who you believe will best address these issues; and think about how lucky you are to have the right to cast your ballot today for that person to represent you – and then go vote. It’s still too important not to.
Elizabeth Hanson is the Eastern vice president of the Pennsylvania Federation of College Democrats and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.