Linking Theory to Practice–Social Justice Practice, that is…

Social justice requires voting. Make sure you are registered.

“If you want peace, work for justice.”

Pope Paul VI’s words take on extra meaning as Election Day gets closer.  Consider President Obama’s recent spin on that adage:

“If you want more justice in the justice system, then we’ve all got to vote – not just for a President, but for mayors, and sheriffs, and state’s attorneys, and state legislators.” 

Voting is essential to our work for social justice.  And, as President Obama suggested, all politics are local.  That means showing up at the polls in every election, not just for President, but also in off years to elect officials to serve on city councils, school boards, state legislatures, and more because there’s a political connection to virtually every social justice issue.

barack_obama_votes_in_the_2012_election

Unhappy that students spend more time taking standardized tests than mastering critical thinking skills?  Exercise your right to vote for school board members who share your concern.

Dismayed about the legal system’s response to police officer shootings of unarmed citizens?  Exercise your right to vote for state attorneys or judges committed to substantial and substantive reform.

Angered by attempts to allow religious liberty to excuse discrimination against LGBT people even after the Supreme Court has made marriage equality the law of the land?  Exercise your right to vote for lawmakers who plan to enforce constitutional rights for everyone.

So, with fewer than 100 days until Election Day (November 8–mark your calendar), are you registered?

In Ohio, if you haven’t voted since 2012, moved, or changed your name recently, you may not be.  To make certain you are all up to date, simple, check here.  If you need to register, get the necessary form and instructions on what to do here.   Don’t know where to vote?  Click this link to find your polling place.

Kentucky residents can register or update their voting status online. The same is true in Indiana. Twenty-nine other states and the District of Columbia also allow residents the option of registering online.  For more information and a chart to find out whether you can sign up, check, or update your registration status online, check out the National Conference of State Legislatures website.

For many states, the deadline for registration is October 11, 2016.

Take a step toward social justice.  Vote.

Author: Verna L. Williams

Interim Dean, Nippert Professor of Law, co-founder and co-director of Cincinnati Law's Center for Race, Gender, and Social Justice. Professor Williams joined Cincinnati Law's faculty in 2001. She teaches Constitutional Law; Gender and the Law; and Family Law. Her research examines the intersection of race and gender in law and society.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s