V oting has always been the foundation of our civic duty. We are taught from a young age to take pride in the unique responsibilities we are privileged to have as Americans in a true democracy. Voting is the action we take to ensure our voice is heard. Fulfilling this responsibility is our contribution to the improvement and prosperity of our communities. For centuries, Americans of all backgrounds have contributed to the effort to retain and expand access to that inalienable right .

As our country evolved, our society progressed. The 19th

Amendment gave women the right to vote. And the crowning achievement of the civil rights movement, the Voting

Rights Act, allowed African Americans unobstructed access to the voting booth. We must not slow down the momentum in seeking further equity in our elections. There are many barriers to address, and apparent inequities that threaten what we've accomplished thus far. Local leaders must be focused on policy at the state and federal level that encourages us to sustain and improve access to voting. As local leaders, great responsibility falls on our shoulders. Not only are we stewards of the electoral process, but the communities that we lead are the greatest beneficiaries of successful elections. Elections allow our residents to create the blueprint for the communities they want to see, to elect the leaders that inspire them, and to invest in the priorities that make us all proud to call where we live home.

Municipal Leaders As deeply as we engage in promoting access to elections within our local communities, equal attention must be focused on our state and federal decision-makers. It is the policy initiatives at that level that determine how meaningful elections can be for the long-term health of our communities. Election outcomes are integrated into every aspect of our lives—from how we fund local and regional transit to the millages that determine how our public safety and educational institutions are funded. Voters prioritize the economics of business and life, and amplify which barriers are limiting our neighbors and holding back our opportunities for success.



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