As the 2012 Democratic National Convention concludes, l feel rejuvenated as a young, black female and reinvigorated to traverse the country to engage voters as part of the National Action Network’s national voter tour.
The testimonies from such a diverse array of speakers instilled hope in me that it is really resonating that our vote is our voice. Now it is time to roll up our sleeves and hit the streets because the key to a win for President Barack Obama is going to be strengthening coalitions and pounding of the pavement to energize voters.
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One speaker moved me when he said: “My family’s story isn’t special.” ”What’s special is the America that makes our story possible. Ours is a nation like no other, a place where great journeys can be made in a single generation. No matter who you are or where you come from, the path is always forward.”
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Those were the words of San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro who not only summarized what many of us live, breathe and feel every day; he likely inspired others who could probably use a little extra push every now and then. Many compared Castro’s words to that of President Obama in 2004. I like to think of it as the Black/Brown coalition to keep moving us forward.
This week, we watched as political figures, advocates and entertainers hit the stage delivering support for President Obama and the Democratic Party. They rallied their troops, gave moving speeches and got all of us excited about the upcoming election. But what they also proved was that our similarities were far greater than our differences.
In his speech, Castro pointed to his humble upbringing raised by a single mother, much like the President. He discussed the sacrifices of his family in order for him to make it to this point, much like the President did. And Castro made sure we all understood that America is a land of opportunity where no matter what our backgrounds, with hard work, we can advance. To me, his speech brought home what’s really at stake in this election.
On Thursday night, President Obama officially accepted his Party’s nomination for a second term. And while he was, of course, the main highlight of the week, the entire convention concentrated on the all-important idea of diversity. From African Americans, Latinos, Asians and plenty of women, the DNC proved that including folks that look like America is the right move. In less than two months we will all hit the polls to choose which way we go forward. Because so much of our collective future is riding on this election, we cannot afford to sit at home or miss the chance to participate in the process.
During this week’s DNC convention, we heard from just about everyone making the case for this President. But to me, what was more important was the show of unity on that stage in Charlotte. If we can truly organize, rally and support one another just as we did during this convention, then we can dictate what happens to us.
Just like the Black/Brown unity displayed at the DNC, we must all have some Black/Brown unity at the polls in order to win this election. The time for a Black/Brown coalition is now and the time to register Black/Brown voters is now.