‘Do I gotta start paying for clean air now?”
– CL Smooth from the legendary Hip Hop group Pete Rock & CL Smooth
Imagine people dragging around an oxygen tank just to breathe fresh air because some corporation is making another profit off of the pollution in the air.
Imagine wars popping off all around the world because of lack of clean water.
Imagine millions of climate refugees having to carry a global green card in order to escape the environmental destruction in their homelands.
Now, imagine what we could do if just half, let alone all of us, vote on Nov. 2nd for candidates and initiatives that have the best interests of our children and our planet in mind.
Imagine people realizing the privilege that some of us have to simply breathe clean air and not have bombs falling in our backyards.
Imagine the impact that young people around the world could have by coming together to demand clean air, green jobs, and dignity in our schools and neighborhoods.
I tell you that the only thing real at this moment in time is whether we choose to stand up and make a difference or whether we choose to lie down.
I tell you that the lobbying interests in Washington and in your hometown are banking, literally banking, on you staying home and not exercising your right to vote at the ballot box.
And I tell you that we can continue positively changing America if we decide to do so.
This past month, I’ve had the privilege to be the opening act on the Clean Energy Tour with Pete Rock & CL Smooth, Garth Trinidad from KCRW, Freedom from Haiti, DJ Muggs of Cypress Hill, the amazing Christen Lien, and Aaron Ableman.
The Clean Energy Tour is backed by over 120 social and environmental organizations from across California representing one of the largest on-line and off-line youth organizing movements this election cycle.
From college campus to college campus, we’ve built community, educated each other on our own power as a voting block, and discussed the interconnectedness of issues from the environment to immigration reform to education equity.
Through the tour, thousands of students were engaged, inspired, and motivated to not only vote but to join organizations committed to making a positive difference in their communities.
And through the tour, we, as artists and organizers, constantly reminded ourselves that it’s our voice and our vote that will continue to transform America.
So regardless of what the pundits say on TV or on the radio, I’m re-inspired because artists from Pete Rock & CL Smooth to Rosario Dawson to DJ Skee are actively involved in getting the youth vote out because we all know how critically important this election is.
So remember to vote fearlessly on Nov. 2nd and to keep organizing for the kind of world that we all know is possible.