As we enter the home stretch of midterm elections, every vote counts and there is a clear choice in this election, according to White House Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett (pictured left).
Jarrett made it very clear that if we do not support the candidates that support President Barack Obama and the presidential agenda, then progress will cease because the Republicans have made it clear they will do whatever it takes to stop the presidential agenda.
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Now that Democrats have begun to aggressively campaign, with the President and First Lady Michelle Obama both making rounds, there seems to be a lot of energy and excitement on the ground that will hopefully translate into votes.
For example, when the First Lady went to cast her early vote in Chicago, an outpouring of people headed to the polls to cast early votes as well. Who can say that any of those individuals would have taken the time to vote had the First Lady not stopped in Chicago?
Democrats are proposing progress and promising change, but what does this mean to black voters?
With education, the administration continues to focus on community colleges because hours are flexible, allowing people to attend school and work and receive job retraining. By redesigning the curriculum around jobs of the future, there is also an emphasis on providing internship programs to get young people excited about their career possibilities.
The President has made public education a signature issue because people, and especially our youth, need to be able to compete in a global economy.
According to the White House, there has been nine months of steady private sector job growth in the United States. While this growth may not alleviate all of the unemployment woes that we are feeling, we have to remember that this economic crisis did not happen on President Obama's watch. It will take more time and key legislation to get and keep us employed.
Republicans openly opposed the Recovery Act and tax cuts.
Had the President not moved forward with the Recovery Act, the unemployment rate would be worse for our community. Credit policies have been reformed to help people understand credit cards and mortgages, which benefits the black community since we were taken advantage of by subprime lenders and have been adversely affected by the foreclosure crisis in the housing market.
While the President's name is not on the ballot, his long-term vision and policies are.
As a voter, only now am I beginning to realize the sheer importance of my vote. Voting in the midterm elections is just as important as voting in presidential elections. Midterm elections decide whether a president's agenda will be enforced. Unfortunately, midterm elections typically have less voter turnout due to ignorance about how our political system works.
The black community is being battered by the effects of the recession, resulting in unemployment rates two to three times that of the national average. As a community, we need advocates who are willing to represent our best interests. Given the recent political climate of Tea Partiers and the GOP, it isn't a secret how important this election is for our community.
Both Democrats and Republicans know that the black vote is strong when we vote.
We cannot expect lawmakers to take us seriously if we can't show up to the polls and make our voices heard.
Our predecessors worked too hard for us not to take advantage and participate in the political process, so get your wife, get your kids and go vote!
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