If you live in the United States, do you have a plan for voting in the upcoming election? It couldn’t be more important.
I’ve already asked for my absentee ballot so I can vote by mail ASAP. That way, I don’t give or get COVID-19 at the polling place. Request yours early, in case you mess up. I did! I’m embarrassed to say that after registering hundreds of voters and reminding them to fill out an easy-to-miss box for your ID numbers, I left that off myself! The Board of Elections kindly sent me a blank form in a bright pink envelope, with a matching envelope for mailing.
So you see that, as with the pandemic, we can help experts do their best by flattening the curve. Instead of sending in a mountain of paperwork on or near Election Day (November 3), let’s give the Post Office and election officials time. Make sure your vote counts.
Why This Election Matters for Food
Our elected officials have a huge influence on what is produced, how it is grown, what it costs, and who gets to eat. I’m voting a straight Democratic Party ticket to:
- Protect the Post Office, which delivers medicine, ballots, love letters, and even food in an affordable, private, and reliable way.
- Fight the climate crisis, which leads to extreme weather, pollinator death, and pest migration. Fortunately, the solution involves creating new jobs and a more enjoyable society.
- Protect the food system. Environmental disaster leads to rising food costs, food scarcity, and hunger. We need support for food inspectors, organic farming inspectors, and the Environmental Protection Agency.
- Rein in factory farming and slaughterhouses, which cause misery for the workers, their neighbors, and the animals. Fortunately, plant-rich solutions help fight climate change and promote health.
- Feed the hungry, including funding SNAP and WIC. Fortunately, well-fed people do better in school and at their jobs. They are healthier and have healthier babies, reducing medical costs.
- Support rural communities. Joe Biden says his administration “will partner with small and mid-sized farmers to help them collectively create supply chains to deliver fresh produce and other products to schools, hospitals, and other major state and federal institutions, including the Defense Department.”
- Do good work at the state and local level. Jenna Wadworth, who is running for North Carolina Commissioner of Agriculture, promises to fight climate change, revitalize our suffering rural communities, and benefit everyone with the expansion of new crops (including cannabis), food-science research, soil health, and local foods. She got started as a Soil and Water Commissioner, another vital position!
There are plenty of other reasons to vote blue no matter who, including that Black lives matter, shutting down the pandemic, protecting health care, expanding education, and treating immigrants with respect instead of caging them and separating families.
I’m haunted by the tweet from Peter Kalmus.
A key part of breaking the corporate death-grip on our politics is to vote in such huge numbers that we overwhelm any trickery. This election marks a fork in the path of our species that will literally show in the geologic records. Will our civilization thrive, and our planet come back into balance? Or will we burn on with business as usual to extinction?
I often urge you to vote with your fork, but it’s essential to also vote with your vote. For food’s sake, put your voting plan into action.