November 6 is election day in America. Control of the House and Senate in the national government are up for grabs. Pollsters say several contests are very close and can go either way. So Guyanese and other minority votes matter. This is a very important election in the lives of immigrant communities in the US. I urge all Guyanese American citizens and others to please go out and vote. It is your constitutional duty if you are a citizen and if you are registered and on the voters list. If you don’t vote, someone else will decide on who is your representative in the legislature of your state and in the federal national government. You may not like the choice. So it is critical you go out on vote between 6:00 A.M and 9:00 P.M. And volunteer your time to assist with the campaign of your favored candidates as I have been doing trying to get pout the votes.
In New York State, home for the largest concentration of Guyanese, there will be balloting for Governor and Lt. Governor as well as for a number of other statewide offices and for NY State Senate and NY State Assembly. Governor Andrew Cuomo is seeking re-election. Voting is also for US Senator from New York State. Ms. Kirsten Gillibrand is seeking re-election. In neighboring New Jersey, voting is for one US Senate position. In Florida, where the second largest number of Guyanese resides, there is balloting for Governor and other state wide offices as well as for the state’s legislature and one US Senate seat. Country-wide, all of the 435 House Representatives are up for grabs in every state.
This is a very important election. Whichever party controls Congress (Senate and House) will determine the future of the country. Immigrants are under assault. Immigrant communities are marginalized. Contrary to what some say, immigrants are not diminishing America. They are adding to the beauty of the cultural mosaic of the nation. In addition, they are hard working adding to the tax coffers.
It is crucial that every Guyanese American make their vote count by turning up at the voting booth and cast ballots. Numbers mean a lot – not only for the candidate one wants to win, but also to show politicians that the Guyanese community has strength especially where they are in large numbers like in parts of Queens, Bronx, and Brooklyn. With numbers at the voting booths, politicians will pay heed to their community and requests for services. Otherwise, they will continue to be ignored as heretofore.
In the 2016 elections, many members of our community did not vote saying their vote didn't matter. They were incorrect as the result was not to their liking. They expressed regrets. Now is not the time to be complacent. Cast your ballots!