On Nov. 4 we get to choose who runs our government and what laws we think make the most sense for us. We vote, hoping that our voices get heard.
In Long Beach, historic low voter turn out has time and again disappointed many people, making the voices of a select sub-group of the city’s population the resounding voice in city politics.
This time around, community organizations and leaders are again mobilizing to get out the vote. Only time will tell if more voters will show up at the polls on Tuesday.
In the meantime, VoiceWaves interviewed nine Long Beach residents from all over the city and asked them, “What value do you place on voting and why does it matter?”
“It’s important that people have an opinion of who’s in charge. We have the right to vote and we need to practice that right, because choosing who’s in charge is important, whether it’s a president, senator, or a mayor– we need to vote for who we want in charge.” – Joaquina Gonzalez, 51; Homemaker
“The value of voting is that it gives people a choice of who should be their leader. We enjoy the freedom of choice. I can freely express my opinion and voting provides me and everyone else the right to choose who we want to be a leader.” – Jussin Wehthely, 18; Orange Coast Community College student
“Voting makes me feel like I belong to the community. It unites us all and it makes you feel like you’re doing something more even if you’re just voting. You feel like your contributing to your country.” – Chris Anderson, 19; McDonald’s employee
“We have the opportunity to vote, unlike other people, and we should take advantage of that because it’s important to elect who should make the big decisions. Many people can’t vote for who they want in charge and we have the opportunity to vote yet people are taking that for granted and they don’t vote and eventually get mad because of who got elected. We all need to speak up and give our vote. It’s a right that others wish they had.” – Kimberly Jimenez, 20; Long Beach City College Student
“The more votes to get, the better. If you and I don’t vote how can we elect a good leader? If we don’t express our opinion and demand our voice to be heard others will choose for us and sometimes we might not like their pick, so I think voting is very important because it gives the government an idea of you want to be the leader.” – Shaquille, 19; Long Beach City College Student
“Voting is valuable because it gives the right to be heard and get involved. Someone who votes is someone that loves and cares about his country even though a lot of people love and care about this country yet they don’t vote. They don’t understand that voting is what makes this country so great; voting gives us the opportunity to participate and be part of history.” – Sam Sanderson, 22; Long Beach City College Student
“I value voting because it’s my time to be heard and speak out and not be afraid. Choosing whoever you want makes you feel like you matter. When I’m heard I feel like I matter, and voting gives me that feeling. And even if the person I vote for doesn’t get picked I still feel like I did my part and have my opinion.”- Kevin Mauricio Nick Landaverde, 18; Long Beach City College student
“I value voting because it is a way to contribute and have a say in what we want in our country. Voting is what makes a change in this country,whether it’s voting for a president or voting for school president, it all goes back to what you want. Through voting I know that I contributed something to this country.” – Ashely Gonzalez, 19; Cheer Coach
“I think it is very important to vote because that’s how we can get our opinions heard, and it’s through voting we can tell the government what we want. The value of voting is priceless because that’s why we have the freedom we have. It’s because of voting this country is so strong.” – Rania Khalil, Beauty Salon Receptionist.