Today, We Decide

By Andre Banks Nov 07, 2006

Mervyn Marcano, Communications Director at the League of Young Voters offered this piece on WireTap this morning: Today, We Decide. After all is said and done, no one will be able to deny the power of organized, engaged, and motivated young people. The League of Young Voters has mobilized tens of thousands of young people and their families across the country. But, for those of us who think we’re two steps from victory — think again. We’re only beginning. While we hope to win big today, any outcome will only crystalize the reason we do this work. For the past year, we’ve been on the streets day after day. We heard the stories of everyday young people who are trying to pay for school, or struggling to help their families to put food on the table. And almost all of them had lost faith in the power of their vote, if they ever had it. In 2004, when we were on the verge of change, the right wing tricked Middle America into believing that gay people and immigrants were the cause of our woes. That we wouldn’t be safe unless we "stayed the course" in Iraq. Young people didn’t buy that. We voted in record numbers that year. But, in too many places, many of us were disenfranchised by a broken elections system. So, we picked up the immense task of energizing the thousands of young people who, like us, believed we could make real change. And you joined us. In droves. Together, we have brought our many communities to the table to solidify a new vision for change. Therefore, even if the Republicans lose seats today, we can’t rest. It’s on us to demand progressive policies that will put our communities on track to a more secure future. We are saying NO to a seemingly endless war in Iraq, where too many of our friends die every day. We are clamoring for change at the local and state level, where too many career bureaucrats sit happily, paying no attention to their constituencies. We are standing up when they cast our ballots to the side, exposing their hypocrisy. We are sending them a message that we will not buy into their divisive model of "family values" and instead demand real economic growth, new jobs, and affordable health care. Above all, we’re fighting for a new vision that we will make real. As always, we will continue to develop young leaders who will have the tools to organize their own communities in the most effective manner possible. We will bring young people to the political table and mold politics into something new. Something that represents the people who stand behind us. Today, let’s remind America that we’re not only the future. We are the now.