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what tomorrow will bring

11/02/2020 06:00:27 AM

Nov2

Dear friends,

The day before my 18th birthday, I studied Philadelphia bus maps. I was a month into my freshman year in college, and I knew that the next day I would find my way through the city, changing buses at Broad, so that I could get where I needed to be to register to vote. I don’t remember anything else about my 18th birthday, but I remember my incredible feeling of excitement as I registered to vote, exactly as planned.

That was back in the days when we sometimes knew what tomorrow would bring.

At the time, I didn’t wonder why there was nowhere in my West Philly neighborhood where I could register. I didn’t examine the privilege of being able to take half a day off to find my way downtown. All I knew was this was a club I’d been waiting my whole life to join: the Do-ers of Democracy. Now, of course, I know all the ways we fail at allowing every voice to be heard, the way we leave people out of that club.

If you live in Vermont, you should have gotten a ballot mailed to you. If you haven’t yet mailed yours in, please do not put it in a mailbox. Please bring it to your town clerk’s office today. And if you didn’t get a ballot mailed to you, show up at your polling place tomorrow, Tuesday, November 3. Vermont has same-day voter registration, so if you haven’t registered you can register right at your polling place. If you want to check that your vote has been counted,click here

If you live in the United States but not Vermont, you may not have had a chance to vote early in your state. I wish for you strong legs and gentle weather tomorrow as you stand, possibly for hours, waiting to be a Do-er of Democracy. This week, I donated to Pizza to the Polls, hoping that the food I’ve sponsored will allow someone to stay in line a little longer, helping one or two people do democracy. If the line you are in is long, you can call Pizza to the Polls, and they will send refreshments so you can continue your important work. I hope my pizza finds its way to you.

If you do not live in the United States, I’m sure the way we do things over here is a little confusing to you. Trust me, it can be confusing to Americans, as well. Just wish us a day of strong democracy, where every voice is heard. 

Our tikkun olam committee wrote out 200 postcards this fall, sending them to largely minority neighborhoods, urging them to vote. Thank you to everyone who participated, who let someone out there know that you value their right to be a Do-er of Democracy. As Rabbi David says, you are civic mensches

Thank you also to the local town clerks, who recognized that vote at home is great, unless you don’t have a home. They went to where people experiencing homelessness are residing, and they held outdoor voting opportunities in the parking lots. Our town clerks went the extra mile to make sure that every voice was heard.

I do not know what tomorrow will bring, which incidentally seems to be the recurring theme of 2020. My wish for each of you is that your voice is strong and clear, that you vote all the way down the ballot, and that someone brings pizza if you need it. 

May each and every one of us be a Do-er of Democracy.

All my best,
Emily

Tue, January 19 2021 6 Sh'vat 5781