The Lesson: Ask early. Speak out. Hold electeds accountable.
Systemic economic inequity exists in Tucson, through many ways. One of them is by making it difficult to vote for policies and elected officials. I suggest “Voting Day Festivals” to make it easier, and fun, for voters to vote. This is only one solution to the systemic economic inequity of #OurTucson. I share my story of my request for free bus service, and invite you to share yours.
The 2018 election in the City was a “Vote By Mail” election. While this idea was created as a solution to increase low voter turnout, it was not implemented properly, and left gaps in accessibility to polling stations.
Some people argued that it was the responsibility of the voter to pay attention to changes in the system, and if the voter did not pay attention to the change, it was the voter’s fault for being unable to participate in the election process.
Unfortunately, many voters are struggling with day to day activities because of bad policies. For example, loved ones are incarcerated for failure to appear for a fix-it ticket, and not given real support for changing thought patterns and habits, leading to repeated offenses. Incarceration puts a burden on families, by reducing the income to the family, and increasing the stress upon the family. Increased stress leads to additional problems, and not to paying attention to details like the fact that voting has changed to Vote By Mail, and the fact that polling stations are no longer within walking distance.
During my campaign, it became apparent to me, a newcomer to political involvement, that many voters were unaware of the changes, and needed transportation to the polling stations. I requested a free bus day for voters, and was denied. Twice. As far as I know, nothing has been further discussed about transportation needs for people with limited mobility.
Volunteer systems popped up through different groups (and my campaign gave a few rides to polling stations), bit the System refused to help bridge the gap.
So, I write about my idea for “Voting Day Festivals” here. Money can be better allocated for getting voters to polling stations, and increasing relationships in the community.
The whole city would have the day off. Those who were unable to have the day off (e.g. emergency personnel) would be visited by “Voting Day Festival” sub-committees (VDFSC), who would bring the festivities to them — goodies from the Festival — and the VDFSC would also pick up ballots from those they visited.
Streets would be blocked off, vendors, team competitions, individual competitions — a mini “County Fair” in each Ward (or in a precinct cluster) — with voting booths would be erected.
Bus transportation would be free. Special transportation would be free.
Everyone would have access to the Voting Day Festivals.
Law enforcement would circulate the Wards (or precinct clusters) to ensure safety of personal and community property.
Let us bring our communities together, build bridges between all classes and genders, and have a good time, making decisions that are better for #EachOfUs amd for #AllOfUs… for #OurTucson and #OurFuture.
- Why is the City Council not looking into ways to make voting accessible to all?
- How else can we make voting accessible to all?
- How do campaign finances affect voting equity?
- How do the current rules on using public matching funds affect equity?
- Whose voices are heard?
- How can we stop gentrification?
We are each a piece of the puzzle of life