As a working mom, I've learned the value of setting priorities, and the importance of thinking about how today's decisions affect the future. That's why I'll be voting on Tuesday, and I'm pestering my family, friends and neighbors to do the same.
The outcome of this year's national elections will determine whether and how we, as a country, prioritize issues I care a lot about — issues like safe food, children's health, protection of workers and support for family farms.
We'll also learn whether corporate spending on politics (which has been off the charts) can successfully hijack our priority-setting as a nation. Gotta say, I really don't like the idea of Monsanto and company setting the agenda for my kids' future. Gets my Mama Bear hackles up, big time.
I don't like to sound overly dramatic, but the stakes really are high. The choices we make will affect our kids and communities for years to come.
At the national level, decisions will be made in the coming years on issues like:
- how we deal with longlasting toxic chemicals that build up in our bodies and are passed along to our children.
- what incentives farmers will get to help them shift toward safer practices that rely less on dangerous pesticides (lawmakers will be crafting a new Farm Bill between now and 2012).
- action on pesticides and other chemicals that disrupt our delicate hormone systems and wreak all kinds havoc on long-term health.
Progress at the state level is on the line too. In New Hampshire, a law protecting kids from pesticides in schools hangs in the balance of Tuesday's elections. In California, the oil industry is trying hard to roll back the state's progressive climate change law.
All the pundits are saying turnout will be key. In Nevada, a Republican-linked group called Latinos for Reform even ran an ad (in Spanish) urging Latino voters to send a message to Washington by not voting! They know exactly how important voter turnout is going to be.
Here at PAN, we know very well that having the right people in office doesn’t guarantee progress — but it does make it possible. We can either be pressing for strong policies that protect workers, children and communities, or we can be battling back efforts to take existing protections away.
What happens on Tuesday could mean another step forward, or two giant steps back.
That's why we're urging our supporters to take a pledge: commit to vote, and urge friends & family to do the same. Here's a simple tool to find out where to vote and details on your candidates and issues. No matter where you live or what’s on your local ballot, your vote will make a difference. Please don't sit this one out.