By Robyn Ritter Simon
So you think the local Water Board’s decisions don’t affect you? Or how about the local planning commission that votes on everything built in your communities? From Water Boards, to Pension Commissions, to Community College Trustees; from State and Federal Judges to Congressional Committees and the Supreme Court decisions, every outcome of these governing bodies impacts our lives. So how come so few get involved and cast a vote on Election Day?
If I had the answer to this question, I’d be one sought after woman.
Here’s just a sampling of countries denying women an opportunity to elect their leaders:
Brunei and Saudi Arabia do not allow women to vote at all. Lebanon requires proof of education for women to vote. United Arab Emirates has limited voting for women and the state of Vatican City does not allow women to vote.
|Harrison, Brandon & Spencer Simon|
The greatest power we have as mothers and women is to lead by example. We must teach our children the importance of voting and participating. You have the power as a mom to show your children why it matters.
My sons have grown up in a political household. From countless “meet & greets” for candidates to fundraisers for causes and people we support, to housing my own political campaign in our family dining room, my sons have witnessed what it takes to be an active participant in the political decision making process. Whether they pursue careers in politics is not the point. The point is: they will know the value of voting, of being engaged and of making a difference in their communities.
I have never taken my responsibility of an involved community member or my parenting role lightly; in fact it is what defines me. I care deeply and sometimes too passionately about causes and about electing people who mirror me and my political leanings. I have gone out of my way to ensure that not just my sons, but all their friends too understand the responsibility we have as Americans to get involved.
Motherhood is all about raising healthy, responsible children. But it also about preparing your children to grow into civically-minded and active adults. We need to do our job as parents so that when they reach the voting age, they will be a conscious and proud voter -- a person who recognizes how important it is to get to the polls and make their voices heard.
Robyn Ritter Simon is a former candidate for Los Angeles City Council; a former Los Angeles City Planning Commissioner; a current Board member on the Los Angeles City College Foundation Board; a Board member on the National Women’s Political Caucus, LA Westside; and a devoted mother to three sons.