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Voters anticipate 59th presidential election, civic perspectives divide

Courtesy of Director Mark Standriff

Alumnus Sam Cross, ’19, and junior Kyler Garza visited Mayor of Fresno Lee Brand to discuss his local impact and further their civic knowledge, April 18, 2019.

The world has high hopes for the new decade as millions anticipate the Summer Olympic Games, the Mars 2020 Mission and the rise of the high speed rail. As the US braces itself for a plethora of new films, music and sports events, it also makes way for the 59th annual US election year.

True to the common saying, actions often speak louder than words. Although voting is part of an American’s freedoms, when a vote is not backed up by action, it amounts to nothing but weight in the ballot box. Voters’ goals are transformed into reality when they initiate change, rather than waiting for a politician to act on their behalf.

Throughout history, activists like Martin Luther King Jr., Susan B. Anthony and Florence Kelley stood in the gap for communities that suffered under discrimination, oppression or abuse. Today, young people like Greta Thunburg and Malala Yousafzai stand up in front of millions, fighting for global change that politicians have often ignored.

In order to take action beyond a vote, efforts must be taken in areas of influence. Rather than viewing sensational news sites, follow news providers on social media that strengthen local unity. Take time to learn the stories and opinions of others in order to formulate a viewpoint backed by facts.

Organizations like Living Room Conversations, National Institute for Civil Discourse and Move On utilize conversation and civil debate to unite groups of differing political and social opinions. Rather than permitting differing beliefs to divide, allow the perspectives of others to inspire empathy.

In the following tweet, Living Room Conversations challenges its followers to consider how the new Twitter restrictions affect civil discourse.

Summer Foshee | The Feather Online

The above infographic shows ways you can actively address issues of public concern.

According to Pew Research Center, the animosity between Republicans and Democrats has more than doubled since 1994. A survey of over 10,000 adults over the course of 20 years, by the center, shows that the divide is most prevalent between those “most engaged and active in the political process.”

Go beyond the presidential campaigns and uncover the core issues being addressed by each candidate. Learn state voting laws, write an article or volunteer locally to embody the change you wish to see.

Encourage others to get involved with civic action as well. As seen in marches on Washington D.C., sit-ins and social campaigns, groups of people in unity catch the attention of politicians and leaders and can be a catalyst for change.

The labels of Republican, Democrat, Green or apolitical have no impact on the world if not corroborated with proof of belief. While a ballot shows physical evidence of opinion, the voice of a voter is heard through their actions and steps toward change.

For another editorial, read EDITORIAL: Selflessness promotes communal growth, requires self-care practices.

For more articles, read Avery Jones exhibits leadership on, off the field and Australia residents suffer amidst bushfire season, native wildlife perishes.

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