John Lewis doesn't want you to forget what it took for him to have the right to vote.

U.S. Rep. John Lewis of Georgia knows more than most about the importance of voting.

Which is why on Nov. 3, 2016, he tweeted this photo:

Throughout his life and his work, Lewis has fought for our democracy — and for his right to vote.

The 15th Amendment granted African-Americans the right to vote in 1870. In many areas, however, it was too difficult and dangerous for black citizens to exercise that right. In many states, voting while black meant risking your life.


The civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s led to the eventual passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which outlawed racial discrimination in voting and expanded protection for black voters.

Lewis helped make all of that happen.

Lewis (left) with Whitney Young, Philip Randolph, Martin Luther King Jr., James Farmer, and Roy Wilkins in 1963. Photo via AFP/Getty Images.

A prominent civil rights leader, Lewis marched side by side with Martin Luther King Jr. in the '60s.

Lewis is considered one of the "big six" leaders of the movement. In his 20s, he helped organize nonviolent sit-ins at segregated lunch counters. He was instrumental in organizing the March on Washington and was the youngest speaker there.

President Obama counts Lewis among his personal heroes and had this to say about him on the the 50th anniversary of the march on Selma, Alabama (emphasis mine):

"[America is] boisterous and diverse and full of energy, perpetually young in spirit. That’s why someone like John Lewis at the ripe age of 25 could lead a mighty march. And that’s what the young people here today and listening all across the country must take away from this day. You are America. Unconstrained by habits and convention. Unencumbered by what is, and ready to seize what ought to be. "

Obama awarding Lewis the Medal of Freedom in 2010. Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images.

You probably don't need to be reminded of what's at stake in the 2016 election, but...

It's good to be reminded not to take democracy — and our right to vote — for granted.

There are people alive today, like John Lewis, who vividly remember a time when they couldn't safely exercise their right to vote. There are women alive today who remember not having that right at all.

Voting is as much your individual participation in democracy as it is a tribute to those who have been arrested, beaten, bloodied, and killed fighting to ensure you have that right.

The voting rights march of 1965. William Lovelace/Express/Getty Images

Whatever your politics, you should be proud to cast a ballot on Election Day. And when you do, try to remember those who came before you. Remembering their hard work and sacrifice is an important part of ushering in a brighter future.

True
Frito-Lay

Did you know one in five families are unable to provide everyday essentials and food for their children? This summer was also the hungriest on record with one in four children not knowing where their next meal will come from – an increase from one in seven children prior to the pandemic. The effects of COVID-19 continue to be felt around the country and many people struggle to secure basic needs. Unemployment is at an all-time high and an alarming number of families face food insecurity, not only from the increased financial burdens but also because many students and families rely on schools for school meal programs and other daily essentials.

This school year is unlike any other. Frito-Lay knew the critical need to ensure children have enough food and resources to succeed. The company quickly pivoted to expand its partnership with Feed the Children, a leading nonprofit focused on alleviating childhood hunger, to create the "Building the Future Together" program to provide shelf-stable food to supplement more than a quarter-million meals and distribute 500,000 pantry staples, school supplies, snacks, books, hand sanitizer, and personal care items to schools in underserved communities.

Keep Reading Show less
Canva

I got married and started working in my early 20s, and for more than two decades I always had employer-provided health insurance. When the Affordable Care Act (ACA, aka "Obamacare")was passed, I didn't give it a whole lot of thought. I was glad it helped others, but I just assumed my husband or I would always be employed and wouldn't need it.

Then, last summer, we found ourselves in an unexpected scenario. I was working as a freelance writer with regular contract work and my husband left his job to manage our short-term rentals and do part-time contracting work. We both had incomes, but for the first time, no employer-provided insurance. His previous employer offered COBRA coverage, of course, but it was crazy expensive. It made far more sense to go straight to the ACA Marketplace, since that's what we'd have done once COBRA ran out anyway.

The process of getting our ACA healthcare plan set up was a nightmare, but I'm so very thankful for it.

Let me start by saying I live in a state that is friendly to the ACA and that adopted and implemented the Medicaid expansion. I am also a college-educated and a native English speaker with plenty of adult paperwork experience. But the process of getting set up on my state's marketplace was the most confusing, frustrating experience I've ever had signing up for anything, ever.

Keep Reading Show less
True

$200 billion of COVID-19 recovery funding is being used to bail out fossil fuel companies. These mayors are combatting this and instead investing in green jobs and a just recovery.

Learn more on how cities are taking action: c40.org/divest-invest


The legality of abortion is one of the most polarized debates in America—but it doesn’t have to be.

People have big feelings about abortion, which is understandable. On one hand, you have people who feel that abortion is a fundamental women’s rights issue, that our bodily autonomy is not something you can legislate, and that those who oppose abortion rights are trying to control women through oppressive legislation. On the other, you have folks who believe that a fetus is a human individual first and foremost, that no one has the right to terminate a human life, and that those who support abortion rights are heartless murderers.

Then there are those of us in the messy middle. Those who believe that life begins at conception, that abortion isn’t something we’d choose—and we’d hope others wouldn’t choose—under most circumstances, yet who choose to vote to keep abortion legal.

Keep Reading Show less
via Lorie Shaull / Flickr

The epidemic of violence against Indigenous women in America is one of the country's most disturbing trends. A major reason it persists is because it's rarely discussed outside of the native community.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, murder is the third-leading cause of death among American Indian and Alaska Native women under age 19.

Women who live on some reservations face rates of violence that are as much as ten times higher than the national average.

Keep Reading Show less