It’s election season when at every turn, there are yard signs, radio spots, TV ads, and social media posts touting the pros and cons of candidates running for local, state, and federal offices. The closer we get to election day the frequency and negativity of the ads increase. I start to feel bombarded and it all becomes background noise. Could that be the plan? Could there be forces trying to influence me to either tune out completely or to have a particular candidate’s name ingrained in my psyche so that I automatically check the box next to their name on the ballot? 

I dare say you might have a similar experience. What I will say is that there truly is power in each and every vote that we cast. If that were not the case, there would not be so much energy and effort devoted to trying to influence if, when, and how you vote. I can almost hear you saying, “What does this have to do with DHIC and affordable housing?”

Well, if successful, those same candidates trying to influence you will have the power to make decisions about policies and programs that directly impact the lives of people that organizations like DHIC serves. They will decide how much funding is available to preserve and create more affordable housing; enact zoning, planning, and fiscal policies that determine where and how that housing can be built; influence the availability of supportive services for those needing additional help once housed, and create the means by which our communities can expand rental assistance and homebuyer assistance programs. 

Those of us who work in this arena and the families benefiting, all have the power through our votes to elect individuals who will not only support this work, but also ensure that these measures are implemented equitably.

With this power comes responsibility. Educate yourself on the election process, the candidates, and their platforms. If you are already registered, exercise your right to vote and if you chose, do so during the 2022 early voting period from October 20th – November 5th.  If you have not yet registered to vote, the early voting period gives you the opportunity to register and vote at the same time. Use the resources that are available from the NC State Board of Elections to help you prepare to harness your power to vote. There is the NC Board of Elections One-Stop Early Voting search tool and you can find a sample ballot or check your voter registration status with the online Voter Search tool. Be a part of the process. It really does make a difference.