AUSTIN — The November election is getting closer and closer and early voting will begin in just a few days, starting on Oct. 22.
Here's why it's important to cast your vote.
KVUE talked to leaders from the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce and their branches, the Greater Austin Black Chamber of Commerce (GABC), the Greater Austin Asian Chamber of Commerce (GAACC), the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (GAHCC), and the Austin LGBT Chamber of Commerce on the importance of voting this election season.
Vice President of the Austin Chamber of Commerce Tina Cannon said they are focusing on affordability, and looking at every policy from "an affordability lens." Cannon is concerned with property taxes, electric and utility rates, and ensuring higher educational attainment. Cannon said"so that we keep the lifeblood of what made Austin, here in Austin."
"Life begins locally in our chamber," Tam Hawkins, President and CEO of GABC said. Hawkins talks about the importance of our local elections, which besides being just as significant as national elections, Hawkins says with Austin being the capital city, one could potentially run into their representative around town. With the chance to talk to them, and have them listen to you, Hawkins asks "Why wouldn't you want to vote and exercise that right?"
KVUE talked to Alice Yi, President of the Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs Association, and Marina Bhargava, President and CEO of GAACC, about speaking up so representatives know what the people want. Yi encourages more Asian Americans to find their voice, and go out and vote. More than a democratic obligation Bhargava says "It is your duty to vote."
Luis Rodriguez, President and CEO of GAHCC, talked about the "one way" Hispanic Austinites can see representation in local government and that is through voting. "You might feel displeased with current politics right now or you may like how they are going. But the only way you are going to impact change or keep things the way you like them, is showing up at the polls," Rodriguez said.
The Board Chair of the Austin LGBT Chamber of Commerce, Chase Kincannon, brings up a crucial fact. "A lot of people have fought and died for your right to vote," he said. Specifically for the LGBTQ community, Kincannon mentions all those who fought for equal rights. "Think about the people who sacrificed everything they had to protect our rights."