Why I Vote

Why I Vote

By Michael Soto

In Washington D.C there are 11,702 registered lobbyist. That means there are 21 lobbyist for every member of congress. These men and women live, eat, and sleep in the same city as congress. They tell our congress members and senators how to vote and what bills to write. Lobbyist are paid to do this 365 days a year. I am not so fortunate, being only able to remind my representatives once every two years. I do not have enough money to make $1,000 dollar contributions or open a Super PAC. I cannot hire signature gathers to help me place a proposition on the ballot.  But I can vote.

Super PACs have already spent $419,609 in this election cycle, flooding the airwaves with ads. Big spenders like Sheldon Adleson or the Koch Brothers fund entire political machines, with think-thanks and political actions committees while paying the bill for races across the nation. Perhaps one day I will be eating a $250,000 plate; at a candidate fundraiser, but today I am not. The only way my voice will be heard is if I vote.

Some people (specially in California) ;will say their votes don’t matter, because California has always been blue, but this is the same state that passed conservative law s such as Prop 13 and Prop 8, bills outsiders would never imagine coming out of our state. This year a similar challenge arises with Prop 30 which just dipped below 50%. If Prop 30 were to fail the state education system would be gutted by over six billion dollars. Teachers would receive pink slips across the state and class sizes would continue to increase. Tuition would rise and service would cease.

So remember that this year there is a lot at stake and if you haven’t yet registered to vote you can do that right now.  You can only vote once, but I know your vote counts.

Sources:
http://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/index.php
http://www.opensecrets.org/outsidespending/
http://reason.com/poll/2012/10/19/california-props-30-and-32-too-close-to

Michael Soto is a third year political science major at CSU Channel Islands and the CCD Communications Director