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Video: At Virginia Women’s Summit, 14-Year-Old Poet Emily Ocasio Explains Why Everyone Needs to Vote

“I Can’t Vote, Here’s Why You Should.”

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Great job by 14-year-old poet Emily Ocasio at the Virginia Women’s Summit this morning; definitely deserves its own post! See below for video of her poem, “I Can’t Vote, Here’s Why You Should.”

“People are pawns. Pussy is property. Gerrymandering is justified. Greed is a given. Shootings are statistics. But reality isn’t ruined. Racists can be replaced. Evil can be
eliminated. And everyone should vote [Applause]

Voting is a forum to show our opinions, the quintessential political demonstration. Not voting is wasting the opportunity that so many fought for. The opportunity to have a direct effect on our community. Not voting isn’t neutral; it supports the oppressors, not not the opposition.

The question is why. Why not participate in one of the core beliefs of our nation? Is it because you’re lazy? Because I get it. I understand the temptation. You think others don’t feel your dedication. But you need to come to the realization that our lives are decided by the administration. And if you aren’t active in deciding the delegation they can pass any sort of legislation. They could try to budget a wall instead of infrastructure and public transportation, abort woman’s body rights with abortion regulation; privatize our libraries and public education; takes benefits from the poor to give tax breaks to large corporations.

Oh wait, they have tried all these things. Tthat’s why we need to seek real information. When you don’t vote, you allow someone else to decide your opinions on everything from sexual orientation to immigration. If you’re not voting for another reason, voter suppression, I agree it’s quite a situation even if you have the motivation, voting is no vacation. Laws are passed to limit voter turnout in specific areas with large Hispanic, black or minority population. They require unnecessary forms of ID and if not presented, voters are turned away on the spot. At the destination, they change and move the voting booth location someplace where minorities might find it harder to access  transportation.

37-year-old Andrea Anthony was turned away at her voting location. ‘I felt like the right to vote was stripped from me,’ is what she said – a direct quotation. She learned that Trump had won Wisconsin with twenty three thousand votes; Republicans enjoying the celebration. Voter suppression laws could have flipped Wisconsin’s state nomination.

But in silence we surrender. In hiding we’re hindered. We aren’t done giving disadvantages. We will scream with our stories. And even though people are pawns, pussy is property, gerrymandering is justified, greed is a given, shootings are statistics… politicians aren’t permanent. And that’s why we need to keep working to change our nation and to do that, we need everybody’s participation.”