HOLLYWOOD—Many of you may not know this, and by the time that you read this column it may already be too late. Why? Well, Tuesday, November 7, 2017 was Election Day for many places across the United States, however, not many people head to the polls when the option to elect the next President of the United States is not on the ballot. So I seriously had to ask myself, why some people only think it matters to vote when you are electing a commander in chief.

I’ve asked plenty of people and they really can’t give me an answer that suits my palate. All I hear is that the President of the United States of America is more important than local political issues. And I’m thinking in my head? No, it’s not. So many people fail to realize that the POTUS has power, but not the level of power that can impact you directly in your neighborhood, your city, your state. Voting for mayor, individuals to represent your district on city council, the police commissioner, judges and school board has a large impact on your overall aura in the region you reside.

I mean I spoke to so many people this week who flat-out told me that they weren’t voting because “it’s not important.” And for a moment I started to think the same thing, but I stopped myself in my tracks to come to the realization that my vote counts, it matters and it’s vital that I allow my vote to be heard. Yes, it might suck to have to get up and stand in line for a few minutes to perform your civic duty, but at the same time I always reflect back to all the individuals throughout time you never got the opportunity to vote.

I’m talking about the people who were restricted to vote because of the color of their skin, their gender, sexual orientation, and so many other issues. I am talking about people who were beat, whipped, attacked by dogs, sprayed with fire hoses, arrested and verbally assaulted by opponents who did not want those individuals to allow their voices to be heard.

Now what type of person would I be if I did note vote? I’d be a terrible person, because the way I see it I’m spitting in the faces of people who fought so valiantly for me to have the opportunity and the right to vote. So if I’m not voting, should it get to the point where my vote is taken away from me? I’ve totally considered that. Why allow people to have the right to vote, if they never have the intention of voting in any capacity. That is not smart, that is not wise, it’s a bad move; it’s silly, it’s stupid, but let’s talk the logistics. Time and time again we see people b**ch and complain about how terrible things are in local government, yet when you ask them if they voted, they purse their lips and say NO.

No, you didn’t vote? So why in the hell are you complaining? I mean you had the opportunity to voice how you felt and vote for the candidate that you suspect or at least think will have an impact on things in your community, but instead you decided to stay at home and sit on the couch instead of making a decision that could not only impact your future, but the future of your kids and their kids.

I got up, got dressed, did my research and went to the polls and voted and I felt tremendous afterwards, because not only did I perform my civic duty, but I honored those who fought for me to have that right that so many of us take for granted. You should not vote simply because it’s your RIGHT to vote, you should vote because it is the RIGHT THING TO DO and you owe it to all those people who NEVER got the chance or the opportunity to do it. Don’t complain when things don’t go your way, especially when you had the opportunity to implement change, but you sat back and did nothing.