Why Kim Votes
As we barrel towards election day, my brilliant business partner Sasha suggested that we write about why election day is so important to us. At the moment, it seemed like a great idea. I was at Disneyland - everything sounds like a great idea when you’re holding a pretzel. Now as I sit here, trying to explain to you (and even myself) why voting is so important to me, I feel a little… overwhelmed.
I am overwhelmed by the idea that people were brutally beaten and killed for the right to cast a ballot. They were jailed and harassed. They were supposed to be silenced by these actions - it didn’t work. It couldn’t have, because those that were fighting for the right to vote understood what that ballot meant - Freedom. Power. Recognition. They wanted to be heard and seen. So they marched, protested, and refused to quit.
I am overwhelmed by the patriotism with which I was raised. Parents that never let me think that my vote wasn’t incredibly important. Parents that took me to a city hall meeting. A mom that brought me to volunteer with a campaign. A grandmother who loved this country as most immigrants do - a beautiful possibility. A possibility only fully recognized when a ballot is cast and participation is made.
I am overwhelmed by the number of people who are sending me pictures of them voting. Texting me questions about the procedure of voting. Just the sheer number of people who have sent me the kindest and most supportive messages during the election, and assuring me that yes, they will vote.
Voting has always been a romantic notion to me. The idea that our country is a great experiment and every two years we get to have a direct hand in the way our country will be run. I have always loved election day and can’t wait to go home after work tomorrow and watch the results come in.
Now, however, elections mean so much more to me as we grow We’re the People. Of course, I will be watching for candidates and propositions across the country that I love, but it means more than that.
Election day is about using your voice. Understanding that the things you care about are important. There is so much news, and sometimes it does feel like D.C., and those in power are incredibly far away, making decisions that don’t affect you. It can be easy to feel like your single vote in an election doesn’t make a difference.
It does. I promise you.
Not only does your vote matter in every election on a procedural level (if everyone felt their vote didn’t matter, and so they chose not to vote, then what happens?), it matters on a personal level. Voting is a way that you are of service to the things you love and about which you care. It’s a way to validate those things and to take action. If you’re willing to take the time to talk to your friends and family about something you love and feel passionate about, you should be willing to take the time to cast a ballot in service of it as well.
It also validates your voice to yourself. As silly as it may sound. When you vote, you’re saying “my voice matters. It matters that I am heard.”
And it does matter that you’re heard. It matters to me that you understand that power of your voice. You are not just one single vote among millions; you are the vote. You are the vote that matters because you are the vote in service of the things you care about. You are the one standing up for what you love. You are the one taking a stand. People vote for a million different reasons, but your vote for your reasons has the power to make a difference.
You have the power to make anything happen when you show up on election day. You have the power to fight for what you want. You have the power to change your representatives or even promote them. You have the power to change the laws. You have the power to change your life.
I am overwhelmed by your power. I look forward to you exercising it.