By Zenaida Lopez, El Rescate Transitional LGTBQ Housing
On February 24th, Election Day in the city of Chicago is as challenging as your worst day at work, however it was an exciting day for the three residents of El Rescate who were serving as first time Election Judges. Kayla Toledo, Donald Jefferson, and Ricky Santiago all signed up for this most important role in the elections, without election judges, no polling place can open or operate. In addition, another resident, Mari Rivera, participated in the GOTV campaign, knocking on doors letting voters know the address of their assigned polling place.
Early Tuesday morning, the residents were all up and out ready to work as election judges, making sure the polling places were ready, and able to open on time.
During the resident’s weekly meetings, the youth were educated on the electoral process, staff made sure that the residents were well informed on the importance of Participatory democracy. This included being able to participate in the political decisions that affect their lives. The importance of having a voice and letting their vote be their voice, and understanding that their vote can help mold the political future of the community. Staff encouraged the residents to have a vision of their future and what’s at stake for programs such as El Rescate, and have a part in which person they want to run their government.
As the poles closed later that evening, all the residents were tired from a long days work, but all agreed that they would like to participate in future elections.” I’m ready for the next one”, said Donald Jefferson. Congratulations to the twenty residents who either voted early or casted their votes on election day.