Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter.”

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., 1929-1968

In the upcoming weeks, we will participate in three elections in our state. There is a special Senate run-off this Tuesday, September 26, to determine the GOP candidate (Roy Moore or Luther Strange) that will run against the Democratic candidate (Doug Jones) on Tuesday, December 12.

On Tuesday, October 3, citizens in Birmingham will go back to the polls in run-offs that will determine the Mayor (Bell or Woodfin); City Council members – District 2 – Rafferty or Hunter; District 5 – Austin or O’Quinn; and District 9 – Hilliard or Royal. Birmingham School Board run-offs include – District 1 – Ragland or Small; District 4 – Hendricks or Maddox; District 5 – Millsap or McKinney; District 7 – McAdory or Wilson; and District 8 – Bozman-Henderson or Smith.

The turnout for the August 22 election was abysmal, 27 percent. The majority of the electorate in our city decided that the races were not important and chose that their vote would not make a difference. They voiced no opinion on the political representation in our city and state. Their lack of participation voiced that they were not concern about those who will be making decisions in our interest or the interest of our children.

Elections matter! Our involvement in all elections demonstrates our concern for the well-being of our communities. When we choose not to vote, not to participate, we lose our ability to voice our concerns for our city, state, nation and global community.

I will not encourage you to vote for any candidate. However, I do encourage us to vote. It is our religious and civic responsibility to go to the polls and vote. Additionally, too many people suffered, bled and died to secure our right to vote. We should not nullify their sacrifices by not participating in the electoral process.

We cannot be “silent about the things that matter.” VOTE! Amen.