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Hope

I am addicted to hope.

The hope for positive change in my community, my state, and my country compel me to vote and to actively discuss the political process. This year’s election has dealt a blow to many of my preferred candidates, however I still have plenty of hope.

In Florida we approved a constitutional amendment to restore voting rights to over 1.4 million people who have completed the duration of their sentences. This is an amazing accomplishment that will put an end to the arbitrary and unconstitutional clemency process that has been used to keep people from the ballot box. I’m hopeful that all these individuals will register and exercise their precious right to vote.

The gubernatorial race didn’t turn out how I wanted. It was close, as it always is here, and there were gains made in many new places. This is a source for hope and proof that talking to everyone makes a difference. I hope that the new governor will pursue his promise of cleaning up our environment, and that he’ll strengthen the economy, and make it more fair. I’m also hopeful that the people can work to get a medicaid expansion amendment and force action on this dire need.

I’m hoping climate change isn’t swept under the rug anymore because here in Florida, we need to start talking about solutions.

Looking past the state to the country as a whole, I’m filled with hope as a diverse group threw their names in the ring and many have come away victorious. I’m glad there is a check on the president in the form of the House.

It was a message of hope that helped this nation elect Barack Obama in 2008. President Obama knew the power of hope and spoke about this in his victory speech saying,

“Our union can be perfected. What we’ve already achieved gives us hope for what we can and must achieve tomorrow…This is our time…to reclaim the American dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth, that, out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope. And where we are met with cynicism and doubts and those who tell us that we can’t, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes, we can.”

We cling to the hope that tomorrow will be better but we have a part to play in bringing about the change. We have to work to improve education, make our economy fair, save our environment, and make the American dream accessible to everyone! It is our responsibility to not only cling to hope but to spread it far and wide. Spread hope to the cynics and those who have been left behind, to those who think their voice doesn’t matter or have been told they don’t belong. It’s hard work that takes a long time but it can be done.

I’m addicted to hope and I’m glad. I hope it never ends.

Stay engaged and stay hopeful