The last few days have been filled with anxiety, exit polls, discourse and some of the best Meme’s the internet has to offer!  We know that families around the country are experiencing many emotions and reactions to the results of the election. 

Right now, our country has a ripe policy environment conducive to affecting change on all levels of government; local, state and federal. These changes can only be achieved by electing people in office who have our family’s best interests in their policy decisions. 

Why is the voice of all families important in all elections especially this one? As an organizer, advocate and CEO of Parent Impact in Newark NJ, I know that parents and families have the power to change the conversation and politics around education reform, let’s go further and change the conversation around voting.

During every election, at every turn there are those who want to disenfranchise voters. Making it harder for Black and Brown families to be active participants in the electoral process. This election was no different. 

What was different was seeing families immerse and educate themselves on the electoral process. Not just the family members who are legally able to vote, but 1st graders, 2nd graders middle schoolers! All sharing what they learned with each other. During family meals, doctors’ appointments, walks around the neighborhood noticing lawn signs and discussing the candidates, what method of voting happens in their state and who their family choices would be.

Family to family civic education not received in some schools, happening in living and dining rooms and communities across America. 

Were the conversations always civic? Was everyone in a family convinced their vote mattered? Probably not. But eyes were opened, and minds were expanded to recognize their important role as the Smith’s or Thomas’s doing their part for democracy in America as a FAMILY.

The result of so many engaged families, the largest voter turnout the United States has ever seen!

As the NJ delegate with the National Parents Union, a few months ago we rolled out our Every Family Votes campaign. Even though the Presidential election has possibly come to a close(we will know for sure in the next few weeks), delegates from across the country will continue to help families flex their ‘voting muscle’ and participate in every election local, state and federal because they know that their neighborhoods, communities and country are all made stronger when Every. Family. Votes.

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