Earlier this year I watched Iron Jawed Angels, which is a movie about Alice Paul, Lucy Burns, and other women suffragists whose actions eventually forced the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, allowing women to vote. The movie is awesome, but what’s even better is that all of it is real. WOMEN can vote. I did this morning. Even though it’s my third presidential election, I still get chills and sometimes a little bit choked up when I think about how awesome it is to be able to be a part of running the country. Plus, here I get to go to school, choose a job, and advocate for things I believe in without fear of repercussions.
This election season has been long and somewhat overwhelming, but I mostly just feel thankful that everyone seems to care so much about what happens to our country. I love that so many people watch the debates and tweet about them. I love all the encouragement on Facebook to just go vote, no matter who you’re voting for. I love that, even after all the devastation from Superstorm Sandy*, officials are still doing their best to make sure people can cast their votes today. I know there are a lot of things that aren’t perfect here, but I believe in the U.S. and in our system and in our willingness to continue to grow as a country. I hope that you’ve voted or plan to vote, if you’re eligible, and no matter what happens with the outcome of the election, I am really proud to live here with my fellow Americans.
*If you’re looking for a way to help, one of my dearest friends has organized a school supply drive for her hometown’s school, which goes from kindergarten through eighth grade. Their school was under three feet of water from the storm and is going to be closed for at least 5 weeks. The kids lost everything, including school supplies, books, and the library. My friend and two of her classmates (class of ’96!) have established an Amazon Wish list full of items suggested to them by the superintendent of the school. They are trying to gather school supplies by next Monday, November 12, which is when the kids will be bused to three other schools (in neighboring towns). The supplies are being shipped to the local high school (addressed to the Monmouth Beach Elementary PTO president), which now has a trailer to handle all incoming donations. If you would like to donate, the wish list can be found here.