Lens of the People by Treyvon Waddy

Good Afternoon, readers! Lens of The People is a column dedicated to the capture of the real-life scenarios and events of the local Houston area whilst also giving the thoughts and opinions of the Houston community itself its own voice to speak through.

With the voting for Texas Senator drawing closer and closer, the talk around Houston has been about the importance of voting. It’s easy to think that your vote as an individual will hardly make an impact on the overall outcome, but when we come together as a community and as a unit, those small individual votes really will. This week, I asked the Houston Community their thoughts on voting and why they’re voting for the person that they are.

I feel like it’s important to vote not only because it affects our day to day life, but because I also feel like we as the younger generation need to be involved. If we’re not being involved politically, it’ll affect generations to come and with the number of things going wrong in the world already, things will only get worse without real action. I personally am voting for Beto because I feel like he relates more to the common people and I tend to lean towards the Democratic party in general.” – Hani Jamil

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Voting is important both locally and nationally because laws are passed every day that directly disservice the disenfranchised, including their right to vote. As for me, however, my faith died in the political system a long time ago. I simply believe that there are other ways to directly impact our communities. As we saw with the 2016 Presidential Election, our current President lost the popular vote, and regardless of the various rumored scandals surrounding that election, the fact remains that our current democracy is flawed. As for the Texas Senate race, while I do not vote, I have watched the election closely and I believe that Beto is the man to replace Ted Cruz. I think his stances on overall societal issues are agreeable and I think he’s what Texas needs, but we’ll really just have to see if he’s the real deal or not.” – Victoria Washington

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I think voting is a civic duty as Americans. It helps keep our democracy as accurate as possible, so as to accurately and fairly choose representatives that are what the people want. I also think that it gives you a real place to speak from when you’re talking politics, as its hard to take anyone seriously politics-wise when they don’t even vote. I’m voting for Beto honestly because I typically vote Democrat and from what I’ve heard of him, he seems very down to earth.”-Cyrus Codner

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I think voting is important because it allows the people to decide what they want to be associated with them in a sense. Whether it be a state senator or even the President, the idea of voting gives the people a clear choice, and ensures that the person representing them accurately does so. I’m voting the way that I am because I agree with their values and outlook on the future.” Austin Mueller

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The act of voting was always exercised in my house. I remember going to the polls with my mom when I was younger. I wasn’t able to vote officially yet so they gave me a mock ballot and still let me turn it in. So it always felt natural to me. My mother would never hesitate to call her state representative and leave numerous messages when something wasn’t going right. I liked how involved my mom was and I really appreciate politicians who are really trying to reach out for their community, which is why Beto is getting my vote. He’s really reaching out to the people by coming to where they are and really help them understand him as a person and the reality he’s trying to create.” – Tomei Richard

Photographer’s Thoughts

Voting is so much more than putting names on ballots. As an individual going to vote on your own can seem absolutely worthless especially when there are millions just like you doing the same thing, it makes you feel as if you have no pull at all. But that’s precisely why people should get out and vote. Nothing can be accomplished when only a couple dozens or thousands of people are voting, because that’s just the nature of democracy. Democracy at its core is about unity, and in order to bring about the change you want, it takes more than just putting your ballot out there. Reach out to others, convince people to get out there to do the same and that’s when change can happen. It takes people being together and truly believing in what they want to accomplish, and it’s because of that reason that there’s absolutely no time to feel disheartened or complacent, because while the feelings of unease linger in our hearts, stopping us from making an impact, there are always those conspiring to take more and more away from you and finding reasons to sell your ambitions and voices short. I am voting for Beto O’Rourke because I believe that he understands that, and seeks to ease the hearts of the Houston people no matter what they look like and no matter their sexual orientation, and in my mind that is a bare minimum and necessary attribute for someone running for any type of office.

This was Lens of The People, a column dedicated to giving the Houston community a voice and a platform. Stay on the lookout for more, all made possible by The Forward Times!