Global Citizens Tell Us Why the Right to Vote Matters to Them

Author:
Daniele Selby

Maegan Gindi for Global Citizen


Why Global Citizens Should Care
Your vote is your voice. When you vote, you make your opinion heard and contribute to establishing peace, justice, and strong institutions. By voting you can help ensure that the leaders who will champion the change you want to see are elected. You can join us by taking action here and registering to vote here.

Hundreds of Global Citizens came together in Central Park on Saturday to shine a spotlight on the importance and impact of voting.

Changemakers of all ages from all different backgrounds attended a nonpartisan rally — co-hosted by Global Citizen, the City of New York, and When We All Vote, a national, nonpartisan nonprofit organization — where they heard from activists and influential figures about why every vote counts.

Voting is an important way for people to make their voices heard. When people exercise their right to vote, they help elect leaders who will take action on the issues that matter to their communities. By voting for advocates who share their beliefs, people are able to participate in the writing of policy and legislation that directly impacts their community.

“Your vote is your voice!” the crowd chanted at the rally — but they also had much more to say about why their vote matters, and why they will vote in this year’s midterm election and every election.

Read More: 'Your Vote Is Your Voice': Global Citizens Rally Around Right to Vote in NYC

These are some of our favorite portraits of Global Citizens at the rally and the inspiring things they had to say.


180922_1151_GlobalCitizen_Vote_0481.jpgJean Brissett in New York City’s Central Park.
Image: Maegan Gindi for Global Citizen

“It is important for us to vote because we need to have leaders who govern not just for one set of people but for everyone, and if we don’t vote then we’re not exercising our right to speak up about things like the economy and the environment. We have to exercise that right if we want to live in a free country with less racism and a better future.”


180922_1151_GlobalCitizen_Vote_0413.jpgPhillip Aya in front of the Maine Monument in New York City’s Central Park.
Image: Maegan Gindi for Global Citizen

“When I vote this election, what’s going to be on my mind is the future, how different it could be, and how we can make tomorrow better.”


GCWeek_YourVoiceYourVoteMaegan Gindi for Global Citizen_027.jpgRachel Brosnahan after speaking at a rally hosted by Global Citizen, the City of New York, and When We All Vote in New York City’s Central Park.
Image: Maegan Gindi for Global Citizen

“The first election that I was eligible to vote in, I was in college and I was 18. I remember walking through the hallways of my dorm and where people were registering to vote. I watched as hundreds of my classmates signed up, got absentee ballots, or registered to vote and I remember feeling this sense of unity, like collectively we had a say. That was empowering and exciting and I haven’t looked back from there.”


180922_1151_GlobalCitizen_Vote_0447.jpgSamantha Bruno in front of the Maine Monument in New York City’s Central Park. Samantha recently turned 18 and will be voting for the first time this fall.
Image: Maegan Gindi for Global Citizen

“Normally I would think I’m only one person in a million so my vote doesn’t really count — but if everyone else is thinking that, too, then nothing is going to change … It’s important to do your own research and not just vote off what you see on social media or what your friends tell you.”


180922_1151_GlobalCitizen_Vote_0438.jpg

“I think voting is an important way for people to say what their opinion is, what they represent, and what they really feel will empower them for the future.”


180922_1151_GlobalCitizen_Vote_0491.jpgEkta (L) Grace (R) in New York City’s Central Park. Grace, who recently became a citizen, will be voting for the first time this fall.
Image: Maegan Gindi for Global Citizen

“I’m from Austin and the time I felt that my vote mattered the most was when I voted on a bill there. The city was holding a vote on whether or not to have services like Uber and Lyft unless they met certain standards. And I voted and it actually happened. I went to the hearings about the bill afterwards and it was a really great moment where I really felt like I had actually contributed.” — Ekta

“This election will be my first time voting, but I think this past [presidential] election showed why it is so important to vote. Not enough people voted and let their voices be heard. And many people were surprised by the result — and that’s because we don’t talk to one another. Voting is a great method of using your voice but we should also be promoting discourse and being open and able to hearing from all perspectives.” —Grace