Want to reduce global inequality? Vote in the midterm elections.

Graphic: Sandy Stowe/Oxfam America

Your vote matters. Here are 5 ways casting your ballot in November could make a real difference.

On November 8, US voters will elect leaders at nearly all levels of government who will make life-or-death decisions on issues that will impact us now and for generations to come. These decisions will not only affect the lives of people living in the United States; our political policies and debates—like how we tackle the growing climate crisis—carry global ramifications. As global citizens, it is our responsibility to ensure we make choices that advance justice and equality for all. Our collective future depends on what we choose to do between now and election day.

Are you ready to vote? Visit our partner When We All Vote to make sure you’re registered to vote and to help get out the vote.

What’s at stake in the midterms?

Climate Justice

The climate crisis is one of the most pressing issues of our time. It is an existential threat to every single person in the world, though its effects are disproportionately felt by the poorest and most marginalized among us. Despite recent progress, our leaders are not acting with the urgency, attention, or investment that climate change demands. We need leaders who will stand up to the fossil fuel industry, invest in a green energy future, and make good on climate commitments to the global community.

It seems like every day we wake up to learn about another devastating drought, heatwave, wildfire, superstorm, or climate-related food shortage. It is well known that people with the fewest resources—particularly Black, brown, indigenous, and low-income communities—are hardest hit and suffer the worst consequences of climate disasters. We must elect leaders who will hold rich countries and corporations accountable for the damage they have done and who will expand existing laws to protect communities from pollution and emissions.

Reproductive Rights and Gender Justice

As the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision demonstrated, we are once again having to fight for the most basic rights for women and gender-diverse individuals: abortion. In one swift decision, the Supreme Court stripped away decades of work to allow women, trans, intersex, and non-gender conforming individuals to enjoy rights that cis gender white men have never had to worry about: bodily autonomy and reproductive rights.

At its core, abortion is an issue of equality. It is poor women, women of color, and gender-diverse people—those of us already struggling to support our families—who will be the most impacted by this ruling. It’s about the fundamental right of self-determination. Abortion must be safe and accessible, so that those people who seek to terminate a pregnancy—for whatever reason—may do so without jeopardizing their life, health, or wellbeing. We must elect leaders who will take immediate steps to protect these fundamental rights, and who will fight back against those who seek to diminish the rights of women and those along the gender spectrum.

Racial Justice

The United States was founded upon white supremacy that persists in our institutions to this day. These inequalities effect Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) on every level: wage gaps, like how women of color are disproportionately represented in the low-wage workforce; investment in communities of color—like the recent completely avoidable water crisis in Jackson, Miss.; access to affordable housing and health care; and racist immigration policies. These are just a few examples of how our policies, laws, and systems uphold racial disparities. We must elect leaders who are not afraid to call out racism where it exists and uphold racial justice.

Income Equality

Right now, families across the United States are struggling to make ends meet, as the costs for everyday essentials have increased across the board. Simultaneously, we are witnessing the outrageous gains in wealth by the billionaire class since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. From tax-dodging billionaires to mega-corporations profiting off unfair labor practices, the US political and economic system continues to entrench poverty and economic injustice at home and abroad.

Poverty and injustice are the consequences of action and inaction. That means that we humans have the power to reverse these inequalities. A radically different world is within our grasp and to achieve it, we need decisive action to reduce economic inequality. We must elect officials who are committed to advancing justice for all.

Voting Rights

The right to vote, the right that enables us to participate in decisions that affect our lives and those of people across the country and around the world, is a cornerstone of democracy. It is our Constitutional right as Americans, but that hasn’t stopped officials at every level of the US government from trying to control whose votes are counted and whose voices are ignored.

Since 2020, more than 500 voter suppression bills have been introduced—many of which have been passed—in legislatures across the nation. Voter suppression disproportionately affects young voters and voters of colors, voices that are essential to creating a more just future. Together, we must defend the right to vote and not allow our officials to undermine our democracy. We must elect leaders who will use their power to protect our freedom to vote and take responsibility for their own role in delivering voting rights for all.

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