The symphony of our democracy 

The  League of Women Voters promotes and protects women’s voices needed to maintain representative balance

By Stefanie Gadalean 

The grand experiment of American democracy can be compared to that of a symphony: they both rely on a harmony of diverse melodies to uplift the full potential of their respective masterpieces. Each citizen’s contribution to the democratic orchestra, akin to an instrumental note, plays a crucial role in creating representative governance. Comparable to how a diverse ensemble is needed to achieve true harmony, our nation thrives off the cooperation of multiple perspectives to achieve a country for the people and by the people. 

In the ongoing pursuit of creating a more perfect union, let us recognize the undeniable need for women to not only participate in government but lead. With the representation of women in the United States democracy only beginning a little more than a century ago, the League of Women Voters has promoted and protected the voices of women needed to maintain a representative balance of tones in the symphony that is the American government. 

In light of this election year, the League of Women Voters is coming to the University of Florida. The university is a hub for the leaders of tomorrow, thus it is vital for highlighting civic participation to bolster a community that values engagement in local, state, and federal issues. 

The environment of an educational institution fosters a caliber of critical thinking crucial to democratic engagement and the understanding of political issues. One of the League’s many missions on campus is to emphasize the reality that no one is immune to the cascading impacts of voting. 

Every single person at the University of Florida is affected by what is on the ballot, making it imperative that each student votes not only for themselves, but votes for the future generations of University of Florida students. The League’s value of civic engagement and the utilization of its platform tow educate and inform voters promotes the symphony of American voices to create a nation they are proud to call home. 

The League of Women Voters is a non-partisan political organization founded with the ratification of the 19th Amendment dedicated to ensure women’s right to participate and be represented in American democracy. The League adamantly maintains its non-partisan ideology by supporting a wide range of political policy issues, providing voter information, and advocating for civic engagement. 

A few of the issues the League supports include healthcare policy reform — specifically the expansion of Medicaid and reproductive justice — natural resource preservation, immigration reform, social policy reform, and educational policy supporting teachers and students. 

The League has also supplied the American public with ample voting resources with their creation of a catch-all website that provides non-biased information about voting registration, voting locations, ballot initiatives, and much more. For the past 104 years, the League has used its influential platform to create a nation that values informed civic participation by holding candidate debates, candidate forums, and its “Making Democracy Work” campaign. 

Being the president and founder of the University of Florida’s chapter of the League of Women Voters holds unparalleled significance in my life. 

As a first-generation American woman, I believe most of us come from somewhere less free, and defending democracy by supporting ALL citizens’ participation in the democratic system is critical to the American Dream. 

The immense joy I feel knowing I am upholding a part of the American experiment women only a few generations before dreamt of is what fuels my passion to be a part of the League. The League and its mission makes me increasingly proud to live in a country where I am utilizing my voice to instigate the change I want to see, and I am even more proud to be gifted the opportunity to ensure women in future generations will maintain their right to democratic participation. 

Our nation is changed by the individuals who use their voices to advocate for what they feel is important. These voices are given to them through a pen and a ballot. Let us never neglect that although voting is a right in our country, the right for women to cast their ballots was earned by generations of steadfast activism. 

Voting gives a voice to opinions, to struggles, and to stories. Vote as if your future depends on it—because it does! If you are upset, frustrated, or even enraged by the trajectory of our nation, remember that decisions are made by those who show up. 

So, my friends, vote in the presidential primary election on March 19, the state primary on August 20, and the general election on November 5. 

Visit VOTE411 to learn more about your specific polling place and what is on your ballot. UF’s League meets on January 30, if you are interested in attending, reach out to Democracy is on the ballot this year—VOTE!

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