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League of Women Voters of the San Antonio Area

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League project empowers young citizens

Madhu Sridhar | Published on 1/4/2022

Commentary: League project empowers young citizens

By Madhu Sridhar
President, League of Women Voters of the San Antonio Area

San Antonio Express-News, January 5, 2022

Youth Initiative Contest
High School Winner


Tessa Uviedo
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Our Future - Our Vote

The polls are open, and lines across the country are overflowing with people of every race, gender, religion, sexuality, and ability, because every vote matters. When I imagine a democratic society, this is what I see.

Every year, too many voices, especially those of marginalized groups, are muzzled by obstacles they never saw coming. Even someone who holds every right to cast a ballot can be pushed away by voter ID laws, fall victim to voter roll purges, or simply become the prey of harmful legislation. I am only seventeen; I hold no legislative or even voting power, but I know this can change. The biggest enemy of democracy is falsity. Rumors soar across the internet so swiftly that they misinform and misshape people’s views of the electoral process. The media has framed the issue with voting as letting too many people in when conversely, we are still leaving too many people out. Regardless of my age, I possess the ability to accurately communicate how people can go about voting, to ensure their vote counts, and to educate those who misconstrue the problems of our voting operations.

Democracy lies at the foundation of our country, but recently, we have seen cracks forming in that foundation. I believe that my generation and myself hold the power to start repairing those fractures to begin healing our country. When we can all respect one another, then a truly democratic society can form. We will never all hold the same opinions, but that’s the beauty of our country and its marketplace of ideas because we occupy the chance to hear and learn from one another. Democracy can only function when we value one another and do not act solely in the interest of ourselves or our beliefs. I can envision a world where everyone can stand in that poll line as an equal, with every expectation to leave proudly marked by an “I Voted” sticker.

Youth Initiative Contest
Undergraduate Winner


Faith Brough
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Our Future - Our Vote

A democratic society is one in which each member holds power to make decisions and create change. My vision of a democratic society is one that celebrates diversity. A society where people of all races, genders, sexual orientations, and religions are represented and each of those members feels empowered to use their voice is a truly democratic society. If those in positions of power comprise a small portion of the population and are altogether similar to each other, we will miss out on many new and different ideas.

As a future healthcare provider, I can have many roles within a democratic society. At the most basic level, I exercise my civil duty as an educated and diligent voter. By learning about the government and political process and staying up to date on current events, I can feel confident in my vote and have conversations with others about topics I feel strongly about. When I feel called, I also see the importance of supporting candidates I believe in. As I get older and have more time outside of school, I look forward to getting more involved with political organizations, such as LWVSA, and possibly running for office. I feel strongly about health disparities and access to healthcare, and I know that as my leadership skills and knowledge of political processes develop, I will be able to make change in my community.

As a woman, I am proud to make my voice heard in the male-dominated American democratic society. As a Caucasian, straight, cisgender, middle class, Christian female I also realize that I hold privilege in many aspects of my life and I am committed to making space for people of color, low socioeconomic status, members of the LGBTQ+ community, and people of all religions to share their values and opinions. I know that I will certainly not agree with everyone I come across but will cherish disagreements as a part of a society where everyone has a say. A democratic society does not have the potential to be good because it is easy, but because it is founded on diversity.


Youth Initiative Contest

Graduate Winner

Antonia Taylor
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Our Future - Our Vote

Black Woman

The black skin on my hands means everything
In the constant pursuit of freedom
Cracks on my knuckles persist
As I spill blood
On the foot of Lady Justice

In the eye of our system –
And to the men above me -
I am identified by
A mere color
And by the status of my uterus:
“Functional or not”
Can I reproduce more Blacks-like me?

To them I am many things
But of those, I choose to be none.

I dream of a day I lay
On the soft banks of North Africa
Where my people were stolen from
And watch the sunset
In a place where I am seen
For what I am:
Divine feminine, Human, Eternal

I will find a place where I can heal
My brothers, sisters, and siblings
Of traumas
Inflicted by the state
Not of our choosing

Everlasting freedom is not found
In the dead eyes of formal men
But in the colored skin that lays upon by bone
The soft glow of my ancestor’s oil lamps
And the whispered hymns of my great-grandmother

League of Women Voters of the San Antonio Area

PO Box 12811

San Antonio, TX 78212
(210) 657-2206