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/ A message from the frontlines: Get out and vote
A message from the frontlines: Get out and vote

As an aspiring nurse and current pharmacy technician, I and my loved ones are on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic, and I am begging you to vote. Everything is at stake this election, be it COVID-19 relief, health care, or the rights and justice for Black lives. We need to make sure we and everyone we know go out and vote. That’s why I’m participating in MoveOn’s Your Vote Is Power campaign, so I can share information with my audience so they can get out their vote. 

I come from an immigrant family with parents who, unfortunately, do not believe their vote is power. They truly believe that, despite their citizenship, their voice does not matter because they were not born here. They think that the problems we see in the world cannot be avoided, and that they cannot do anything about it. Since they think this way, I view it as my responsibility to use my voice and vote to vouch for both my interests and theirs. My parents and I have been waiting for years for my mom’s brother and my sister to immigrate to the United States, and we can do something about that. We can vote in federal officials who are more open to immigration than our current administration, officials who will let our family reunite.

Although my parents have this mindset, I’m thankful for the influence of my grandpa. He is someone who votes in every primary and in every election year, no matter what. He would always show us his ballots and the propositions and tell us, “This is what I’m paying taxes for. I should know what I’m paying for and I get to decide what happens for the next four years.”

And my grandpa is right. Our votes do get to decide the next four years of this country. Since we see so many injustices, as we do today with police brutality and the lack of COVID-19 relief, we need to act.

I am tired of seeing what this country and presidential administration has done. I’ve learned about the ways a pandemic like COVID-19 should be handled—there are steps and solutions right there in my textbook—and Donald Trump has done none of it, he’s gone completely off-script.

As a nursing student, we get trained so much on de-escalation for when patients lash out and become violent. Our job—unlike the police, it seems—is to do no harm. We learn about what you can and cannot do to carefully detain a person without using weapons. If nurses can do this, why can’t our police? My friends and I are tired of seeing the injustice go on, so I want us to take the energy that we bring to our tweets and to the streets and direct it to the polls so we can shift the political landscape for the better. 

To make a better world a reality, I am voting for Joe Biden for president. A vote for Biden is a vote for COVID-19 relief, for Black lives, and for basic human decency.

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People like Sharlenne are committed to ensuring that injustice is no longer the norm. We must elect officials who won’t stall and who won’t put the lives and livelihoods of millions in danger. Make sure you are registered to vote. Make sure you know how to vote by mail. And make sure you mobilize others to vote as well. Together, we’ll create a better tomorrow.

shar

Sharlenne Ilar