YES. Definitely. Our lives hang in the balance. Whether you have been in MCC for multiple decades and remember voting candidates who ended police violence against LGBT people, campaigning for and electing members of Congress who eventually passed and funded the Ryan White Act which brought life-saving funding for HIV and AIDS, or if you are 28 and fought for candidates who supported marriage equality and wanted to legally marry the love of your life, you know the importance of voting. And we know what happens when we don’t vote or when too few fair-minded people avoid elections. We get cruel elected officials who weaponize our lives for base political games.
In this moment, as we passionately align ourselves with movements like #metoo and Black Lives Matter, we know how important voting is in our intersectional justice work. We know that all of the justice work we do is sacred and connected. Voting can make the difference for people who are hungry, people experiencing homeless, we black and brown folks who are subject to police harassment.
Voting is always about hope— hope for an end to suffering and the start of brighter days. MCC’s mission is to be a Beacon of Hope.
I look at the work of All God’s Children MCC in Minneapolis. I look at what they are doing in opening their doors to feed people. I look at how their pastor advocates at the State Capitol and at the City Council for the poor, marginalized, disenfranchised, the ex-offender. I look at how they make their entire church available to recovery groups (most of which are LGBT and have no other free place to meet). Most importantly, I look at how they connect all of that work to their moral obligations and their faith traditions. The church is merely blocks away from where George Floyd was murdered by a Minneapolis cop in 2020. Because of the hard work in meeting needs at the individual level, they are now being called on to help address systemic racism in law enforcement, in the social safety net, in immigration, and throughout the criminal justice system. Voting is always about hope— hope for an end to suffering and the start of brighter days. MCC’s mission is to be a Beacon of Hope.
So yes, MCC definitely believes in the importance of voting. Voting for fair-minded, equality-driven candidates is the way we show that we are Beacons of Hope.
ABOUT THIS MCC AUTHOR: Kareem Murphy is the Director of Intergovernmental Relations for Hennepin County, Minnesota (USA)-home to Minneapolis. He is a seasoned lobbyist with over 20 years of experience in representing local governments, non-profit organizations, and faith groups at the level of government. He currently serves on the Government and Policy Team of the Global Justice Institute. He had a career as a federal lobbyist in Washington, DC before moving to Minnesota in 2013. Kareem currently serves as President of the National Association of County Intergovernmental Relations Officials.