I vote because there is a pothole on my way to work. I vote because my school board’s policies are the first line of defense when it comes to preventing gun violence at my brother’s school. I vote because I want to support my mayor as he reaffirms my city’s commitment to the Paris Agreement . I vote because I want our government to commit to promoting social justice. Our whys may be the same, or your whys may be antithetical to mine, but it is crucial that you vote so that your interests are represented in our democracy.
The 2020 Presidential election is the first time some of us are getting the chance to vote and happens to be one of the most important elections in our country’s history. Our nation faces challenging times in the midst of a global pandemic and economic uncertainty while facing the tragic reality of police brutality. In November, you will have the opportunity to influence the direction our country will take to overcome these trials.
Voting is a fundamental part of actively participating in our democracy. Our vote is a privilege. For decades voter turnout among young Americans has been significantly lower than older voters. But times are changing, in 2018 youth turnout was the highest ever recorded for a midterm election  and in 2020 Gen Z will make up one-tenth of the 2020 electorate . Elections today affect the policy, judges, and legislatures of tomorrow. Our generation has the opportunity to have a substantial impact on our democracy by becoming a generation of informed and active voters. As a college student exercising my right to vote is a way of ensuring that my voice is represented. As young people, we have the most to lose if our legislatures fail to reflect our country’s demographics and values as a whole—if we don't vote— that is on us!
Our votes have power. Join the conversation and tell us why you vote!
 “Statement by Mayor William Peduto on Clean Energy and the Paris Climate Agreement.” City of Pittsburgh, 23 Oct. 2019, pittsburghpa.gov/press-releases/press-releases.html?id=3406.
 U.S. Census Bureau. “Behind the 2018 U.S. Midterm Election Turnout.” The United States Census Bureau, 16 July 2019, www.census.gov/library/stories/2019/04/behind-2018-united-states-midterm-election-turnout.html.
 Cilluffo, Anthony, and Richard Fry. “An Early Look at the 2020 Electorate.” Pew Research Center's Social & Demographic Trends Project, 30 Jan. 2019, www.pewsocialtrends.org/essay/an-early-look-at-the-2020-electorate/.