Walk the Vote
Today, I walked the vote to my local polling location, 3.66 miles from my home. Although I could have driven to the polls, mailed in my ballot or dropped it off at several other locations, I felt the need to honor the call of history. To all the suffragists, civil activists, and equity seekers before me, I thank you for this right you worked so hard for me to enjoy. I walked for those people in the name of walking equity. What do I mean by walking equity?
On my 3.66 mile walk, I paced through sidewalks of privilege, along roadsides of industry, and into paths of poverty. The more I walked away from the upper, middle-class neighborhood I left to get closer to the lower income neighborhood where I arrived, the worse the conditions became. Yes, there was equality–both neighborhoods had sidewalks, but there was not equity. My walk started on gorgeous, wide, well-marked and paved sidewalks and ended on narrow, below-grade sidewalks (if any) of ill construction. Although the right to vote has equalized our voices, the access to vote is not equitable.
Exercise your Rights
Along my walk, I passed many people transiting to work. It was rush hour. I kept wondering how many of these movers had voted via mail-in or drop-off ballot. I wondered how many cared. The ballot today in Denver isn’t that earth-shattering. We are voting on one school board seat, whether the excess taxes gathered from marijuana sales should be saved for school construction or returned to Colorado’s citizens, whether Denver’s cow palace should get City tax revenue to grow, and finally, whether city tax should help underwrite state college tuition expense. Most would say these ballots measures are questions of excess and privilege, not so much reasons that suffragists and activists might have originally battled for. None the less, the fact that the citizens get to decide should be reason enough for people to care.
Water from a Bottle
As I walked, I dodged potholes and poor, unsafe street shoulders. Water came to my mouth from my water bottle, not from the deluge of a fire hose. My hardships were nothing compared to the previous walkers who couldn’t vote and tried. By walking their path today, I gave gratitude back, and I hope I can pay it forward as our equality views refocus to our equity views and life improves for everyone. Thank you Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Harriet Tubman, Martin Luther King, Jr and other visionaries who, quite literally, paved my way to vote today. Please don’t waste your rights today, and please exercise your vote.