With more than 180,000 Americans gone and counting, 2020 has been a year of unprecedented tragedy. That monumental number doesn’t account for families still living with the after-effects of COVID, people whose lives are changed forever and livelihoods ruined.
On a smaller scale, this year has been one of disappointment. So many things we’ve taken for granted – events, celebrations, just the simple pleasure of being together – are on hold indefinitely. We’re all tired of it. We’re tired of masks and sanitizer. We’re tired of being afraid. We’re tired of every story somehow relating to the pandemic. We’re tired of feeling powerless.
This week, during a time that would normally be the highlight of the year for many residents – Gulfport’s GeckoFest – we’re taking a look back at our better days and hopeful about those ahead.
Because here’s the thing: We are not powerless.
There’s still one thing we can do. Something that is the birthright of (most) Americans. We have a voice. We have a vote.
Perhaps you’re cynical about voting. Perhaps you’ve voted in every election since you were 18. No matter your political leanings, you have a choice. Voting is a decision about the future – not only in our highest offices, but in our communities.
This election season, we’re highlighting races all the way down the ballot, elections that have a clear impact on our community — but don’t always get the attention they deserve. We’ll look at the sheriff’s race and Congressional representatives, yes, but we’ll also highlight school board candidates, county commissioners and even, as in this issue, the choices for supervisor of elections and property appraiser, and what those jobs actually entail.
An informed electorate is a powerful electorate. We all have a choice to make. In a year that’s made us all feel powerless, take back the power.