I remember my naturalization ceremony like it was yesterday. People from all over the world gathered under a white tent, to listen to speakers and watch videos touting the greatness of the USA. I could feel the emotion reverberating through the fabric of the tent. Some people where crying of joy and relief, others were serious and reflective while I was thinking “this is my new family!”
I have dual citizenship so it was not a radical change for me while for others it was a life changing moment when they were able to start a new chapter and be a participant in the politics of the country they chose. I waited for the next election with excitement and a few weeks later, to my surprise I received a big book with a lot of information about candidates and other issues.
In France, we vote a few times, each time for a specific reason. A direct vote to elect the President. A few years later to elect the Congress and finally our mayors and a few other officials and voilà! Back in the USA it took me 3 days to research the candidates, judge, sheriff, school board, etc, not mentioning a fair amount of propositions written in a misleading way. It looked like a democratic process but ended up being a confusing and time consuming affair. I was not yet familiar with gerrymandering and big money swaying the course of a campaign.
Today, the political landscape has changed dramatically. The country I proudly call mine is on the verge of losing its form of democracy. How did that happen? Truth is if the USA lose their democratic system the rest of the world will follow their demise. We can’t let that happen.
So with the little means at my disposal I’ve decided to contact likely voters to invite them to participate in the next election. So far I have written 80 letters and I hope to reach 200 before the election. I’ve given time and money to candidates but these efforts will work only if we’re all in this together.
I’ve never felt so scared of losing my citizen/woman rights but I know we can win if we all take the next few weeks seriously. It’s not too late!