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You have the ability to help OUR community!

Voting in elections is a privilege and opportunity that too many of us take for granted, and that too many people squander. It is my strong feeling that we each bear a personal obligation to vote in every election, and not rely on others to fulfill this duty for us.

By voting, we have the ability to influence decisions and programs that directly affect our community, by determining who represents us at the various levels of government. We need friends in government who support our community’s yeshivot and social service institutions.

Unfortunately, many families are currently struggling to pay yeshiva tuition. We would all like to see the government step in and do something to help alleviate the burden on parents, but many of us do not even take the time to vote. Voting is the very best way for our community to raise our collective voices and make ourselves heard on the issues that we care most about.

It is ironic, and unfortunate, that so many more people come out to vote in presidentialelections than in city and state elections, in which their vote really matters. Elected officials such as City Council members, State Assembly members and State Senators directly help our community by introducing and supporting laws related to quality-of-life issues, education, and funding for our yeshivot.

If you think your vote doesn’t matter, consider this: virtually every year, there are elections in New York that are decided by less than 100 votes. Additionally, modern technology enables elected officials to know exactly who votes and who does not. Thus, the only way politicians are going to take our community’s needs seriously is if everyone in the community votes on Tuesday, September 9thand in every election.

One of the myths about voting is that it leads to jury duty. However, that is not true. Any person that has a driver’s license and pays taxes, water and sewer bills or credit card bills is placed in the jury pool. And so there is no excuse not to vote.

Our community excels in the area of charity, when it comes to donating percentages of our earnings. But we must be prepared to give a percentage of our time, as well. Voting just takes a few minutes of our time, and is something which all of us – rich and poor alike – can do to make a difference and bring about change. Our community needs to come together with one voice so we can reelect those elected officials who have been responsive to our needs.

When it comes to politics, if you are not registered, it is as if you don’t exist. So, if you haven’t already, please register to vote TODAY at www.elections.ny.govor call 1-800-FOR-VOTE.

Please Note:

In NY it is vital to register as a Democrat, because only Democrats can vote in the Democratic primaries, and in our area, almost every elected official is a Democrat. Only registered Democrats can make sure that the Democratic ticket goes to the Democratic  candidate most attuned to our needs. Therefore, even if you never voted for a Democrat in your life, please register as a Democrat. Registering Democrat does not oblige you to vote for the Democratic nominee in the actual election. One can vote for any candidate in any election, regardless of how he registers.