Where I live became the newest city in the USA thirteen years ago. I vote in every local election. I have yet to find a candidate who meets the criteria I established back then for myself for choosing representatives in a changing world, and I have been deeply disappointed by those I trusted. I continue to vote anyway. (Fun fact: VERY few people vote in the local elections. The entire resiliency of your city is being decided by a few hundred people.)
Here is my criteria:
Please join me, even if your perfect candidate does not exist. Please vote for whomever at least seems to be heading toward the future you want.
Please also vote with your dollars, pedals, and fork for the kind of world you want.
You have the power, in more ways than you may realize, to make a measurable difference with every seemingly-small decision you make.
It adds up. You add up.
Women, in particular, could create a triple-bottom-line sustainable world right now today if we would just start working together. Cities that are not safe for women to ride bikes are losing money, and more. Here’s why (note: I have yet to talk with a candidate who has even a passing understanding of this basic information):
I’m not sure that will ever happen here in the USA, yet I will keep trying to at least help more women and girls access and ride bikes. Bikes help, no matter how hard it is for us to ride them safely.
Note: Men are important allies (and, in fact, have often been my best project partners), and I am continually advocating for them to be included (or at least not excluded) in our global female-identifying Bicycle Mayor subgroup (including during the meeting we had this week).
This position is not popular in the group, yet I am guided by the openness with which BIPOC and LBGTQ+ groups have welcomed all (while centering specific voices), and how much I’ve learned by not being excluded from listening.
We have no time to waste, and everyone who is interested in a more resilient future is needed. Vote. Vote. Vote. Vote with the visibility of your body in public space (and shame on you, State Farm), and vote with your ballot.