Guest article: Drawing inspiration from important stories

By Brenda Moore
Muskegon County Drain Commissioner

In the chill of winter I like watching movies. This winter I have found inspiration in several films where I have said as credits roll, “OMG, everyone should see this.” In these films I’m struck by the common themes of strength and determination of the human spirit; the deeply troubling things some people have had to endure, and the often unlikely connection of people from different perspectives working together to make things “right”. Some messages were subtle, others disturbing, but they should be absorbed to fully appreciate the true spirit of democracy. Some of my favorites:

• Suffragette: about British women’s struggle for the right to vote. 
• Selma: portrays the amazing strength and inspiration of Dr. Martin Luther King. 
• A Day Without a Mexican: contemplates the impact on society when suddenly all Mexicans disappear.  
• Hidden Figures: shows the critical role played by African American women (NASA staffers) during America’s space race with Russia. 
• Milk: the story about the first openly gay male elected to office in California.
• RBG: a documentary about the role of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in advancing women’s rights.   
• Wind Talkers: a story, in part, about the role of the Native American language in World
War II. 

These films reflect the struggle of our society to evolve and, I believe, the strength of our human diversity. It inspires me to participate in social change. The most basic part of that is voting (and pressing others to vote). It is a way to honor those who fought for equality -- on battlefields, in court, in elections, and through protest.  No matter who you are or what you stand for, everyone carries equal importance when voting.

Our democracy is at a social and environmental crossroad. Be part of choosing which direction we take! The best new thing about voting this year is we all have access to absentee ballots. You need not leave the house to cast your vote. You must be registered to vote before you can ask to absentee vote.

Register to vote with the Secretary of State, your local township or city’s clerk, or online @ https://mvic.sos.state.mi.us/registervoter.
Absentee voter applications are available from your local township or city’s clerk or online @:  https://www.michigan.gov/documents/AbsentVoterBallot_105377_7.pdf
For a Spanish version of the absentee application:  https://www.michigan.gov/documents/sos/Absent_Voter_Ballot_Application_-_Spanish_533415_7.pdf

Note that the current state absentee ballot application is for both the March presidential primary and the November full election. You can also request to be placed on the permanent absentee voter list.

If you never voted because you think nothing ever changes; now is your chance to change that.

Contact Brenda Moore, Muskegon County Drain Commissioner at 141 E. Apple Muskegon, MI 49442.

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