I’m 25 and Voting in the Primaries for the First Time – This is Why

I have a confession to make. I’ve never voted in the primary elections before. While I’ve been a registered as an early voter since the age of 18, primary elections have never been a priority. Until now.

No matter your political preference or beliefs, it’s a tough time for everyone.  As a mom of a 6-year-old, I’ve been exposed to issues that I would have usually ignored. Matters like healthcare, education, and my community are top priorities because they no longer just affect me, but my daughter as well. Here’s a little backstory behind each of my top concerns.

Building a strong community for my daughter to grow up in

I’ve let my busy schedules and lifestyle blind me from issues affecting my own backyard. I hadn’t realized how disadvantaged my district was until I began comparing it to others in my city. I drive across town to buy healthy food, drop off my daughter at school, and cool off at the nearest splash pad.

These are amenities that most communities take for granted, and that, unfortunately, others long for. They are features I will raise my voice for, so my daughter has a chance at a healthy, successful, and fun community.

Cultivating effective schools where all kids have a chance to thrive

I commute 45 minutes one way to take my daughter to school. Yes, a total of 90 minutes a day to give my daughter a better chance than I had growing up. My daughter’s charter school offers resources, activities, and a community that was not available to me as a child.

Although I believe in public education, I also believe that there are areas where certain districts have failed younger generations. While a specific zip code might affect what your house looks like, it shouldn’t affect the quality of education you get. I’d love for schools like my daughter’s to be the norm and not the outliers.

Healthcare that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg

I grew up under the poverty line. Section 8 housing, food stamps (SNAP), and AHCCCS (Medicaid) were a big part of my upbringing. While I’m grateful that my family had those resources to fall back on growing up, not everyone qualifies for them.

I’m fortunate to have the means to afford health care for my family now. However, my biggest concern is those families that are not as fortunate. Parents shouldn’t have to debate whether taking their kids to the emergency room is something they can afford. Health should always be a priority, not a burden.

If like me, these are issues you’re concerned with, do your part. We can’t complain if we didn’t try to change our current status. Raise your voice and vote for what you believe in. The next presidential elections will happen in 2020, but the time to speak up is now.

For more information on your community’s voting, check out www.rockthevote.org.