How I Became an Informed Voter
Teach For America San Antonio alum Anna Vuich shares how she became an informed voter and the importance of community members taking on the same charge.
Anna Vuich (San Antonio '14) is in her seventh year of teaching lower elementary at Hillcrest Elementary School in the San Antonio Independent School District. Outside of the classroom, her passion for equity and an informed community has led her to become a Volunteer Deputy Registrar with Radical Registrars, a grassroots collection of Volunteer Deputy Registrars with a mission of increasing voter registration rates and voter participation in elections through awareness and education.
If you could change just one problem in our country, what would it be? Narrowing down the list can be almost as challenging as finding the solutions. We have chosen to combat many of the issues plaguing our country through our positions in education. However, you may be asking yourself what else you can do. With the pending election drawing nearer, one option is clear. You can get informed, and you can vote!
Voting is deeply important to me because of the hope that it represents. Over the years, my activism has been varied through protests, assisting in organizing events such as vigils, and volunteer work such as assembling backpacks for refugees. I found many events to support, but I had difficulties finding organizations that needed consistent help and were not during school hours. Many times, I was overwhelmed with how much needed and still needs to be changed. Like many others, I did not know with whom to connect or how to start.
After the murder of George Floyd, the Black Lives Matter: San Antonio Supporters Facebook page suddenly became extremely active. The page was filled with calls to action. I started attending protests and learned of groups such as the Young Ambitious Activists, Reliable Revolutionaries, FixSAPD, and Radical Registrars. By connecting with these groups on social media, I was provided with many actionable items. Instead of feeling distraught by looking through my newsfeed, I saw possibilities of what our city could become.
They informed me of budget meetings on city council and encouraged us to leave comments or call in. I became more familiar with my councilman and began writing him emails. I started to see how the votes I made at the city level would have such a great impact on my students. I saw their after-school budget being discussed and thought of all the parents who work long hours and depend on those programs. I thought about the families living paycheck to paycheck at our school and hoped none of them were faced with that kind of dilemma.
At this same time, Radical Registrar's guided me in becoming a Volunteer Deputy Registrar. The 20 minutes it took me to take my VDR test empowered me to make a consistent difference. Suddenly, I could lesson plan while I waited for people at a restaurant to see my sign and get registered. I know my lessons will leave a lasting impact, and I know registering voters will keep students safe, so they are able to learn!
So, when you scroll through the headlines and feel your heart getting heavy, take it as a call to action. Attend city council meetings, learn from the groups who hold your ideals, or prepare yourself to vote. Make an informed decision by researching the candidates at all levels. One vote can make a difference, and by engaging with and inviting friends to join the cause, the impact can be magnified. Participation in this election is imperative for a better city, state, and country. If you feel your vote doesn't count, realize it does. If you worry one vote is not enough to ensure those around you are ready to vote. Invite them to the conversation, start a study group, or make a plan to go to the polls. Your participation in this election is imperative for a better city, state, and country!
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