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Dr. Dena Grayson @DrDenaGrayson
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THREAD: I’ve spent the last few weeks chatting with people about the upcoming #midterm elections. I’d like to share some of what I’ve heard and why this gives me so much hope.🇺🇸
I met these young women while walking my pups in my beachside community. For privacy reasons, I won’t share their real names (let’s call them “Julie” and “Amy”), but they graciously allowed me to share their stories.
One the best parts of walking my “boys” (Bowen and Bynum) is that I get to meet lots of strangers. I mean, who can resist these two?😍

Seriously, the pups break the ice, and as a consequence, I’ve met lots of interesting people.
This brings me to the young women whom I met recently. Our conversation started (as usual) with how cute my dogs are (please, don’t argue!🤣).

But soon thereafter, our conversation turned to politics (is this any surprise, knowing me?).

After listening to them describe a bit about themselves, I couldn’t help but ask: “Are you planning to vote?”

What happened next astonished me.

“Amy” immediately responded with an infectious positivity: “YES, it’s my first election, and I can’t wait to vote!”

Internally, I was pleasantly surprised, because (as an uber-nerd) I’ve rarely met young adults so PSYCHED to vote.

Then, the story got even better.💙
Amy said she grew up in an “extremely conservative” home. She shared one particular memory of driving with her dad, while listening to right-wing talk radio.

Her: I used to think that he was so smart.

Me: Why?

Her: Because he knew all the talking points on the radio...
(continued) Her: I realized that he (my dad) didn’t know everything.

Me: Why not?

Her: I realized at age 14 that I was a feminist.

Me (thinking WHAT? This is amazing): What made you realize this?

Her: A camp at Liberty University.😳

Me: Say what⁉️

Amy told me that at her evangelical Christian camp at the very conservative Liberty University, she met young Christians from all over the world: ”They opened my eyes.”

“They were so diverse and had so many different opinions. It was really eye-opening.”

Me: (WOW)
She said that this camp experience “made me a feminist.”

Me: How’s that?

Her: I believe in equality. And I realized that what I was hearing at home was NOT that. I think that everyone should have opportunity.”

Me: (I’m near tears of joy): So then, what?
Her: Well, I’m super excited to vote in my first election!

Me: So what are the biggest issues that motivate you to vote?

Her: I think that everyone deserves a chance, so #equality. And I’m a huge feminist, so that’s a big part of it.
(continued) Her: And I want kindness and fairness. All people deserve a chance. I just don’t understand why...(points to her friend)’s so hard for some people.
I ask her friend Julie, who also grew up in a conservative household: do you plan to vote?

Before Julie can answer, Amy interjects: YES, she’s going to vote. We will vote together!

Julie nods: Yes, I plan to vote (she confirms that she’s registered!). I’m excited.
I braved myself and asked: How will you vote?

Both: (giggles) We are voting for Democrats!

Me: Why?

Amy: Because we believe in fairness. In justice. We want everyone to be treated equally. To have a chance.
Me: How do your families feel about this?

They look at each other, steel themselves. And then, the quieter of the two (“Julie”) said: I don’t care. It’s MY vote!

Her friend Amy high-fives her.🙌🏼
They then volunteered that they plan to bring several friends with them to vote — all NEW voters.🤗🇺🇸

They then shared more reasons that they will #VoteBlue: equality, opportunity, healthcare, education, decency....
I share their story, because I’ve met with dozens of other young Floridians, who have a very similar perspective on the NEED TO VOTE.🇺🇸
I’ve met with hairdressers, waitresses, retail clerks, grocery staff, outdoor laborers, all YOUNG Floridians...and I’ve been overwhelmed with their commitment to voting. Many already have voted, and others already have a PLAN.💙
Their stories are all different, yet share a common theme: these young Americans crave “decency” and “equality.” Overwhelmingly, they tell me that they love our country *because* it’s a place where everyone has a chance.

They just want an equal shot.
None knew me, let alone my political persuasions, but ALL of them said that they were voting for Democrats.💙

This wasn’t a #poll, but it is consistent with polls that show that younger voters lean VERY Democratic.

My point is that finally, these younger voters are VOTING‼️
I wasn’t conducting a #poll...rather, I was just speaking with people whom I’ve met in everyday life. Regardless, the national numbers in early voting show that younger voters are SHOWING UP‼️🇺🇸

Just today, my waiter told me that he scheduled Tuesday off work to #vote. He and several friend are going together.

Why, I asked?

Him: We can’t stand this. The meanness, the lies. We want better. Our rights are being taking away.

(It’s his first election.)
The trends that I see are reinforced by REAL voter turnout data. In MULTIPLE states, younger voters are turning out in droves‼️🤗

And the reality is that the pollsters haven’t adjusted their #polls to account for this younger voter turnout (meaning: they’re underestimating Democratic leads).

And I’m totally cool with this, because I know that we must OVER #vote, to overcome @GOP gerrymandering/cheating.🤬
So let’s keep pushing...EVERY #vote matters. Make sure that you vote, and call/text 10 people to make sure that they vote, and so on...

We the People have the power to make change. It’s OUR country. Let’s vote like it matters. Because I assure you: your vote DOES matter‼️🇺🇸
The best part of what I’m seeing and hearing here in #Florida is that younger people not only want to #vote, but they’re PSYCHED to vote. They tell me that they KNOW that they can change things in our country by VOTING.😀
Please, spread the word. Make every call. Text every text. Contact every friend on social media. Urge EVERYONE to #vote.

Our younger voters finally get it. It’s OUR country. WE choose our leaders.

So let’s choose. Let’s VOTE the @GOP OUT‼️🇺🇸💙

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