trishamurakawaBy TRISHA MURAKAWA

(Published March 23, 2016)

Here are your top 10 reasons to vote in this year’s elections.

Number 10 – No one likes a whiner.

If you don’t vote, you have no right to complain because you did not engage in the chance to make your life better. No one wants to hear your complaints about health care, tax increases, parking tickets, traffic or anything else.

And don’t try to say you didn’t vote for the person in office, therefore cannot be responsible. That’s just a cop out.

Number 9 – People before you sacrificed and even died for your right to vote.

First, the 15th Amendment guarantees the right for a citizen to vote regardless of race or previous servitude. Passed five years after the end of the Civil War, this was a significant outcome and should not be forgotten.

Moreover, as March is Women’s History Month, a remarkable individual who sacrificed tremendously during her lifetime for women’s equality and should be remembered is Ida B. Wells.

Wells, a famous civil rights leader during the suffrage movement, faced threats of death and violence as well as discrimination from her white suffragist sisters as she fought for racial equality during a time of slavery, segregation and extreme violence against African Americans. Her life was repeatedly threatened, but she courageously carried the torch for racial and gender equality during a time when segregation and other extreme racist and sexist policies were legal.

Number 8 – It’s the ballot or the bullet.

If you want social change, the ballot is a much more effective weapon as it has farther reach than one bullet, but you can read for yourself from civil rights leader Malcolm X’s most famous speech.

Number 7 – Voter registration is not the only list used for jury duty.

In California, jurors are selected from California DMV and voter registration lists. So if you are 18 or over with a license, you will still likely get summoned.

Number 6 – Every vote counts.

This is not a cliché. The professionals at the County Registrar’s Office carefully recount each ballot by hand in challenged close races and I’ve been a part of my fair share. The most painful — when my friend lost his election for school board by eight votes.

Number 5 – Registering to vote is easy.

You can register when you get or renew your driver’s license, at the post office, library and other public places.

And here’s a tip – your birth date, party affiliation or phone number are not required unless you want political operatives to send tailored mail and robo-call you repeatedly.

Number 4 – It’s your money.

If you care about how your tax dollars are spent – education, road improvements, emergency response, among others — then you have to vote to have a say on who makes these decisions.

Number 3 – It’s your environment.

If you care about the water you drink so it does not contain lead, mercury or worse – a superbug bacteria or virus, then you better make sure you vote for responsible lawmakers who aren’t in the pockets of polluting big businesses.

We need to make sure our lawmakers are not manipulated by developers intending to build on protected land, multinational corporations who irresponsibly drill and other businesses that do not responsibly discharge pollutants and create dirty air.

Number 2 – It’s your body.

If you want to make decisions about your health care and your body, you absolutely must vote. Enough said.

Number 1 – The Donald could become president and you and the entire world will always look at his hands.

If Donald Trump is elected, you will have a reckless, irresponsible, rambling, self-centered, disrespectful, uninformed, arrogant and obnoxious racist as your president.

You need to vote in 2016.


Thank you to all for your support about my son’s sleeping illness. He is, more than one year later, still sick but so much better than last year.

Blessings upon everyone for a bright, healthy and happy future. Please do your part to secure our future by voting this year.

Trisha Murakawa is a strategic communications and public affairs consultant based in Redondo Beach. Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of The Rafu Shimpo.


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