Maybe you’ve never voted before. Maybe your parents don’t vote. But, you’ve been watching things happen in Texas and across the nation since the last presidential election. Intolerance, discrimination, and even the desperation of families separated at our border. With each passing day, you might be more worried about our country, our state, and the quality of the lives of your family and friends. You may be angry at what you’ve seen but not sure about what to do.
You are the younger generations of Texas – those under thirty. You make up a quarter of the Texas voting age population. Fortunately for all of us, you represent the real Texas – a proud, growing, ethnically diverse state. Many in power fear your voice, and do not want you to start voting. The truth is, when the younger generations of Texans vote, it will change everything. Given the urgency of what we face today, I hope you don’t wait until you’re older to exercise your right to vote.
This November, in our Texas mid-term election, Texans will select our Governor, and our representatives in the U.S. Senate, and U.S. House of Representatives. It’s a big deal because Texans will decide if we strengthen the President’s position or weaken it. It’s an especially close race between Ted Cruz and Beto O’Rourke for Texas Senator – neck and neck. So close, that Trump will come to Texas to campaign for Cruz who he is counting on to win.
Beto O’Rourke from El Paso is out to change Texas and is fighting for many issues you may care about:
Civil rights and racial discrimination
Employment and health care
Safety at our schools and public places
He has been on the road travelling to counties across Texas so that he can meet as many of you as possible. He’s been streaming live videos on social media of his travels and town hall meetings. You may have seen the video where he took a stand in support of NFL players who take a knee during the national anthem to protest police violence. Electing Beto O’Rourke for Texas U.S. Senator would go a long way to shatter the hold that those in power have had on Texas. The fresh winds of change will be felt across the state and even the nation.
To discourage you from voting and to buy them more time, people in power like to call Texas a “deep red state.” They want you to think that no matter what you do, you can’t change things. “Deep red state” is a myth. They make it sound as if the majority of Texans vote. You may not realize this, but proportionally, not very many Texans show up at elections. It’s sort of like winning by default. The last time Texas had a mid-term election like we will have this November, only 25% of the voting age population showed up. Of those, 5% eked out the red outcome. With small numbers like those, Texans under 30 could tip the election if you just show up. But they want you to think you can’t win.
A recent University of Texas study also pointed out that generations of Texans before you have created a culture where people just don’t talk about political issues with each other. Texans under 30 should ask if that is a good or bad thing. Does a culture that doesn’t talk to each other about important topics reinforce the status quo for people in power? Does it make it easier or harder for people to vote? You can easily change the non-talking culture by just starting to talk to your friends and family. Find ways to break the ice. The real Texas encourages the sharing of diverse ideas and information.
It’s also important to support and encourage each other during very tough times like we’ve been experiencing. As you have watched terrible things happen in Texas over the last few years, impacting your friends and community, you may be worried and angry. There can be benefits to getting mad. Anger can be a motivating force, making us push on towards our goals in the face of barriers. You can turn anger into positive energy and action. Election day is Tuesday, November 6, 2018. The last day to register to vote is Tuesday, October 9, 2018. Don’t wait to start voting. Texas needs your voice this election.