Voting is a special privilege; use it to gain a voice. (photo by Liz West/flickr)
By Mike Williams
I hope everyone that’s eligible to vote will exercise their right.
It’s disheartening at the number of countries around the world where the right to vote is non-existent or there is so much corruption there’s really isn’t a need to vote.
We are very fortunate to be able to cast our vote, regardless of how you may feel about our electoral system or the candidates. It’s our civic obligation to be engaged in the political process; it’s difficult to hold our elected officials accountable if we aren’t engaged and vote.
No vote, no voice…with the pending Presidential election days away we must cast our vote for who we believe is the best qualified candidate. If we don’t vote we have no right to complain about future decisions that are going to be made. In our fast pace world with demanding obligations from family, work, and community we should pause for a moment and exercise our rights as citizens of the United States and vote.
Instead of complaining about the system, stand up and be counted. Make a personal quest to change our democratic voting system. Put an end to mudslinging, band political ad on TV, put a cap on campaign funding… If you give thought to the fact that the majority changes to our voting system has come from grass-root organizations. A group of people got together and brought about change and you can do the same. Two of those movements are the Women Suffrage Act and the Civil Rights Voting Act.
Lastly, as an African American I personally take pride in casting my vote. My fore fathers and sisters died in order for me to have the right to vote. I don’t take this privilege lightly. Yes, it’s a privilege…and I’m going to exercise my right to vote. By voting, I’m being respectful of those who braved fire hoses, police dogs, jail cells and even death for my right to vote.
A voteless people is a hopeless people…cast your vote and stand-up and be counted.
Mike Williams hales from Presque Isle, Maine. He has lived throughout the United States, the Carolinas, Alaska, and Hawaii. After a number of years traveling with his Military family, they finally settled in Champaign, Illinois. Mike’s a graduate from Champaign Central High School. After graduating from Champaign Central, Mike attended Eastern Illinois University. After two years at Eastern, Mike joined the United States Air Force, following in his father’s footsteps.
Mike’s work for social and civil rights continues…he’s was recently re-elected for his tenth term as President of the Bloomington/Normal NAACP Branch. He also sits on many Boards for other organizations (American Red Cross, Family Community Resource Center, African-American Forum, Bloomington/Normal Achievement Gap Taskforce, McLean County Diversity Project, Partners in Recovery, Illinois People’s Action, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc.).
In addition to Mike’s humanitarian efforts, he’s a Systems Manager at State Farm Insurance. Mike’s also a family man; his wife Lottie and son Stephen are Mike’s encouragers. Mike’s work requires him to be away from his family more often then he likes; nevertheless his family understands that sacrifices have to be made for the greater cause “CIVIL RIGHTS”. Lastly, he’s a member of Mount Pisgah Baptist Church and Bloomington/Normal’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Human Relations Award and the Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition for Human and Civil Rights, 2010 Roy Wilkins Jr. Award.
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