2020: A year of exceptional moments, tragedies, and slivers of hope.

A year that has felt longer than any other, but remained ever-changing, month-to-month, day-to-day. A year that froze us in place and forced us to pay attention to the national political stage.

2020 is a year that has and will change the course of history. It is a year where my vote matters more than ever. More specifically, and most importantly, as a Latino, 1st generation immigrant from a low-income family, my voice matters, and my vote is a tool to express my demands.

As we approach November and get ever closer to turning the page on a rough year, we are presented with several monumental decisions. The choices aren’t only national, but also across our state and counties.

I vote because no one should benefit from discrimination, disenfranchisement, and by perpetuating cycles of oppression against Black, Indigenous, and PoC bodies

I vote because one day I’d like to raise a family—something I and many other members of the youth can’t plan for with this current climate and administration.

I vote because:

Black Lives Matter and a pathway to justice is on the ballot.

COVID-19 has cost 200,000+ human lives in the U.S.

Our migrant siblings are still in cages or missing.

The Global Climate Crisis is an existential threat we need to address.

Affirmative Action in CA can empower our communities.

Roe v. Wade is on the line.

DACA and ACA are in danger.

My parents and others still can’t.

White Supremacy needs to be challenged and defeated.

It’s time for the rich and their corporations to pay up.

2020 is the year to exercise your vote, not only for yourself but for the collective empowerment of our communities. Go out, vote, and show them we NEED change. Vote by mail or practice safety guidelines at the polls to reduce the spread of COVID.

Written by Francisco Perez a member of the Bay Area Men’s Latino Giving Circle

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Originally published by the Latino Community Foundation: Source