Jessica Feeley: Voting


I have never considered myself as someone interested in politics. I remember taking American Government in the fall of my senior year of high school. It was during the 2008 election season, which really bolstered the content we were learning in class, but I still didn’t find it very interesting. I was much more concerned with keeping my GPA in tip top shape, picking a college, and making the most of my senior year.

I voted in the 2012 presidential election as an absentee voter from Illinois, although I was still much too concerned with deciding what I was going to do after graduation and getting a 4.0 GPA for my senior year. Clearly, I hadn’t changed that much in 4 years, nor did the president. Another four years has almost passed and this year a new president will be elected. While I’ve been thinking about what I would do after graduating with my MSW since before I even applied to the program and I’m still overly concerned with my GPA, other things have changed.

Taking Social Welfare and Policy Practice this semester has offered another opportunity to learn about the political system. I also visited the Oklahoma capitol for NASW Lobby Day and met my local senator. That day, Oklahoma politics became relevant and interesting. Coupling that with discussions in my class about the election season so far and attending my first presidential rally, I find myself talking about politics more than I ever believed I would.

Becoming more active in the political process fits right into one of social work’s core values: social justice. What better way is there to fight against social injustice for our vulnerable client populations? We can pursue change and educate representatives on how policies will affect people who have already had to overcome so much. As social workers, we are often the voice for a population who has lost their voice or had it taken away. Let’s not take our power for granted.

Jessica Feeley
See her first post here.

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