Why should you vote?

  • Sarah Ahearn

Published: 11/7/2018 2:38:09 PM

(Editor’s Note: This My Turn piece was a speech given at the Franklin County Resource Network legislative breakfast Oct. 19.)

Why should you vote?BECAUSE

The civil rights act passed in 1964 outlawing discrimination based upon race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.

Yet in 2018 a young man of color raises awareness of inequality, discrimination, and an unfair criminal justice system for his people, in the most respectful way a football player can by taking a knee, and is demonized.


The check written in 1964 guaranteeing all men certain inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness and is still coming back stamped with insufficient funds.


Like Dr. Martin Luther King, I refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunities of this nation.

For these reasons I stand in solidarity with my marginalize brothers and sisters.

Why should you vote?BECAUSE

The Stonewall riots occurred more than 30 years ago launching the gay rights movement.

Yet in 2018, in the most liberal state in the union, there is a ballot question that seeks to end protection against discrimination for our transgendered brothers and sisters.

For these reasons I stand in solidarity with my LGBTQIA brothers and sisters.

Why should you vote?BECAUSE

The ERA never passed, the glass ceiling and never smashed, and currently sitting on the highest court in the land are two man accused of sexually assaulting women.


For the first time in a generation a woman’s right to make choices about her own body is seriously in jeopardy.

For these reasons I stand in solidarity with #metoo sisters and all women across the country.

Why should you vote?BECAUSE

In 1976 Al Gore warned a nation about climate change and was ridiculed.


A sitting U.S. president documented the radical changes to the Alaskan wilderness in 2017 and was disbelieved.


A recent climate report now warns of a catastrophic climate event by 2040 that could impact human kind if we do not reverse course.

For these reasons I stand in solidarity with Mother Earth.

Why should you vote?BECAUSE

In my 46 years of being a Western Mass. resident funding never floated westward affecting jobs, education, transportation, and our economy.


The national railway system was upgraded from north to south and points west, (but not the Berkshires), and Eastern Mass. politicians in Boston demand more studies for railway upgrade from west to east.


Our rural district still has the only transit authority in the state with no evening or weekend service, disenfranchising our rural residents from access to basic needs.

Why should you vote?BECAUSE

In two years time we have a lost 150,000 lives to unintentional drug overdose, the equivalent of two Vietnam wars in total American casualties, yet there still is no true federal response.


Stigma and lack of access to vital treatment and recovery services still exist in many areas of the commonwealth and across the country.

For these reasons I stand in solidarity with my recovery peers and all family members of loss.

Why do I vote?

BECAUSE Democracy is a participatory process.

BECAUSE I matter.

BECAUSE I can’t keep quiet and neither should you.

Sarah Ahern is a Greenfield native and is currently a recovery coach at the RECOVER Project and was just appointed to the Massachusetts state commission on recovery coaching. She is a Human Rights Commissioner for the City of Greenfield.


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