If you haven't noticed from the glossy mailers filling your mailbox, the plethora of signs along the roadways or the stories permeating the news, there is an election coming up. Oregon's Primary elections will be held May 20.
So, busy parents, that does mean you have one more thing on your to-do list.
My kids miraculously took their naps at the same time today, so I took advantage of the time to comb through the voter's guide, political mail and the newspaper articles I've been collecting.
The primary elections are important and like all good things, they do require a bit of work.
You can't just vote down the party line because you are choosing between candidates within your party.
In addition, there are several non-partisan offices up for election.
While the process of selecting candidates in a primary election can seem daunting and your brain gets a workout trying to untangle all of the he-said, she-said's, it is also invigorating.
You are doing something worthwhile and important.
You are making decisions not just for yourself, but for your children.
All that being said, voting presents some challenges.
Candidates are people after all, and, newsflash – people are not perfect.
No candidate perfectly represents your ideals, so you have to make compromises.
In doing so, you have to identify what is most important to you.
Challenging questions present themselves.
Do I vote for someone who best represents my views, or someone who is most likely to win a seat for the party in the general election?
If one candidates supports my position on one subject and another on a different subject, which is most important?
These are not easy questions, but they are worth asking yourself.
Politics isn't pretty, but that doesn't mean you should walk away from it.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt said:
"Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves and the only way they could do this is by not voting."
We lose our voice whenever we become complacent. Let's not take our right to vote for granted.
It is when you vote that you most feel democracy at work.
It is when you vote, when you stand for the issues that you consider most important, that you feel hopeful.
It is when you vote that you invest in the future of our country.
How wonderful is it that we can actually vote on the type of world that we want our children to grow up in? How many people can say that?
Don't vote the way people tell you to vote.
Don't vote the way the party tells you to.
Don't vote the way special interest groups tell you to.
Take what they say into consideration, but do your own research and make up your own mind.
This is your chance to be heard.
We lose our voice whenever we become complacent.