Primary Election Day is one week away

Christina Greer Ph.D. | 9/7/2018, 11:06 a.m.
Citizens of New York, Primary Election Day is just one week from today. Thursday, Sept. 13, it is imperative that ...
Voting Contributed

Citizens of New York, Primary Election Day is just one week from today. Thursday, Sept. 13, it is imperative that you go to your polling station to decide who should be our next governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, state senator, state legislator and possibly several other positions, depending on your district. The primary election Sept. 13 is so important because many of the candidates who will be victorious Thursday, Sept. 13, will run unopposed in the general election Tuesday, Nov. 6,. Essentially, the primary is your opportunity to decide who will represent you in Albany.

However, you might feel about politics, politicians or the institutional structures in Albany, I beg that you participate. New York State has a budget of roughly $168 billion. That’s correct— billions of dollars. Our elected representatives decide what money will be allocated for schools, roads, infrastructure and so much more. Unfortunately, New York State has seen a disproportionate amount of corruption over the past decade. Far too many elected officials have been sent to prison for corruption and overall inappropriate and illegal behavior. What is even more unfortunate is the fact that many people in their districts do not know who they are, what they do (or don’t do) in Albany and do not serve as a check on their power. Essentially, in too many instances, no one is “watching the store.”

If you have not been paying attention to who is running, the Amsterdam News endorsed several candidates across the city for various offices. You can view the editorial board recommendations at www.AmsterdamNews.com. If you would like to see who exactly is on your ballot to begin thinking and researching candidates, go to www.whosonetheballot.org.

Voting is a part of our civic duty. There are still so many measures to prevent marginalized communities from voting. Therefore, it is even more important for us to make our voices heard at the ballot box. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was passed under the Lyndon B. Johnson administration, which gave Black Americans in particular more protections under the law. The voting system is still flawed and Blacks in America have only had protections under the law for a little more than 50 years. Because of that, it is even more necessary for us to exercise our right to vote. Far too many Black Americans were killed trying to register to vote and to physically vote on Election Day. On Thursday, Sept. 13, let us honor their memory, their struggles and their legacy for us to have the freedom we deserve in this country. There’s an old saying, “If you don’t vote, you forfeit your right to complain.” If you are able, please make your voice heard Sept. 13.

Christina Greer, Ph.D., is an associate professor at Fordham University, the author of “Black Ethnics: Race, Immigration, and the Pursuit of the American Dream,” the co-host of the new podcast FAQ-NYC and the host of The Aftermath on Ozy.com.