My hat off to Maria Cordona and an inspiring panel of Latinas for discussing our goals within education, health, and community service with the First Lady. It’s a great start and I hope more of these chats will occur to discuss these goals in greater detail and show how easily we can take part not just in shaping and improving our families’ lives, but our communities as well.
When the discussion touched on the importance of community service, I thought about the primaries when unfortunately our son was days shy of voting age, but was old enough to work the polls with me. We attended a 2-hour training on a Saturday morning, which my son didn’t fall asleep through and we got paid for it as well. The central message was– we are here to help you VOTE in any way we can. And on Tuesday we saw it in motion.
As I watched my son hand out ballots and cross out names on the voting lists, I thought of my grandmother, Nana Herminia, who sent me bus money from Tucson to Nogales, Arizona for Election Day. My father, a political hound, had died seven years before and my mother, who preferred her green card, didn’t vote, so the task fell to my grandmother.
She picked me up in her immaculate 1955 Chevy and instructed me that Raptis’s voted straight ticket. I remember the sound of her husky cigarette voice announcing to the early birds at the polls that her granddaughter, a university student, was here to vote for the very first time. I choked up as folks patted me on the back and shook my hand. I wished I’d thanked her, but at nineteen, it hadn’t cross my mind. So instead I’ll thank her by taking my son to vote this November.
Taking our kids along when we vote on any election day is wonderful, but this year do more! If your kid is sixteen or older they can work the polls. Check out http://votescount.com for more information on the many different ways you and your kids can help this ELECTION YEAR!