Your vote, your voice

In this non-partisan voting advocacy project, contributors from the community made a voting sign and posted it in their window or in a small business. Where the sign is displayed, the family or business shared what this year has been like for them and answered the question, Does one vote matter, and why?

hair care by yolanda

I interviewed Yolanda about her business and how she struggled over the summer during COVID-19. Yolanda owns Hair Care By Yolanda on 142 E 4th St in Brooklyn. It was always her dream to have this business that she opened in 2003. I have been going there for many years and have always gotten a great haircut. In the interview Yolanda talks about her discouragement by the toxic discourse in politics. She talks of how we are no longer Americans, just parties. I understand that for lots of adults it is hard to still believe that each and every one of us has a role to play in our democracy but I think that with young people and our optimism we can turn things around for them too. (Contributor: Lela Wang)

john's deli

John's Deli remained open during the pandemic. "We are essential and the neighborhood relies on us for their shopping needs." They said the pandemic has been a "rollercoaster" for them. According to John's Deli regarding the value of one vote, "In swing states each vote is very important. Here in NY I don't feel that way, considering how one sided the votes are here." (Contributor: Clementine Karlin)

Sean Casey animal shelter

Sean Casey’s “hobby” of caring for stray animals led him to open Sean Casey Animal Rescue 22 years ago. He started in Queens, but has been in Windsor Terrace for 13 years. They are located at 153 East 3rd Street, just off Ft. Hamilton Parkway. Sean Casey Animal Rescue specializes in the rescue, rehabilitation and placement of dogs, cats, reptiles, birds and small mammals. They take in over 2,000 animals a year, the most of any other private rescue in New York, and have saved thousands of animals just from the city’s Animal Care & Control (ACC) since 1998. The shelter never closed during the worst days of the Corona Virus Pandemic. They were an “essential” business, rescuing pets from owners who were sick or who had died of the virus. The shelter did not lay any staff off during these “scary times,” as Sean calls that period. Sean was happy to place a non-partisan “Your Vote/Your Voice” sign in his storefront window. He thinks what is important is to be reminded to vote, not told who to vote for. “Every vote matters...they add up. Everyone has to feel that they can speak their minds...Voting is what democracy is all about,” Sean said. (Contributor: Harvey Wang)

bklyn mom

One vote matters a lot. Voting shows that we care about our rights, that we are engaged politically, and that we are holding our elected representatives accountable. We have to elect people of integrity who honor and uphold our democracy. We can resolve our differences in terms of policy if our leaders act in a kind and decent manner toward others, and if they remember that their first responsibility is to the people. It's our job and theirs to make America a country that lives up to its ideals. (Contributor: Amy Brost)

magpie bookshop

Kristi Gibson was a professional mapmaker and a college professor. She moved to Catskill NY to be closer to her parents, and realize her life-long dream to become a bookshop owner. She loves owning Magpie Bookshop on Main Street, but says it is hard to make money doing it, especially when the store had to close for three months because of the pandemic. However, the good news is that since reopening, demand for books has been strong. Kristi says that every vote counts, but she is also concerned that because of the electoral college, votes in some states count more than others. She was pleased to add the "VOTE" poster to her window display, especially since the color scheme happened to match her store awning. (Contributor: Suzanne Bernstein)

Bklyn Family

One vote matters. It's just simple logic. Every person that votes counts as one vote. When millions of people vote, that is how candidates are elected and change is made in this country. There have been countless elections decided by coin toss (LeBon vs Dodge in Alaska,) or names in a ceramic bowl (Yancey vs Simonds in Virginia) that could have resulted in vastly different outcomes if only one more person had voted. Not only that, but not everyone can vote. Voting in this country is a privilege. Laws around voting, registration policies, gerrymandering, and voter intimidation results in many people's voices not being heard in elections. People with the privilege to be able to register, navigate the confusing system of voting or mail in ballots, and vote, have a responsibility to vote for people who have been denied the right to vote unfairly, for the people whose voices cannot be heard, for the people who want to vote but can't for fear of extremists groups or people around polling locations there to intimidate voters. This election is one of the most crucial elections in our country's history. Presidential elections have been decided by the supreme court before, (Al Gore vs Bush) and it can certainly happen again, so everyone must vote so that this election is fair, and everyone's voice is heard. (Contributor: Izzy Kelly)

seeley st. deli

The deli has been in business for 16 years. The owner's father was a cab driver whose brother talked him into starting it. The pandemic hurt their business but things have picked up. When asked if one vote makes a difference, the owner showed a "live and let live" attitude that you shouldn't choose a candidate based totally on self-interest. Everyone has to think how their actions affect others. (Contributor: Maya Kingstone)

bklyn teen

Voting is so important, because if everyone over the age of 18 doesn't go out and vote and express their opinions, the leader of this country will not reflect the values of the American people. The reason why all citizens have the right to vote is so that the US has a leader that is best for everyone, and to make sure of this, everyone needs to cast their vote.

(Contributor: Alva Olsson)


"The last 6 months have been really complicated. Right now I work for a nonprofit news organization. At first it was scary because we didn't know what would happen with fundraising, and we saw many other media organizations laying off staff and/or putting people on furloughs. Fortunately, our organization is doing ok and is stabilized for the time being. We are lucky."

"EVERY vote makes a difference. As we know, many elections at all levels - city, state, federal - get decided by very small margins. If all the people who thought, "It won't matter if I vote so I'm not going to bother" actually voted, things could turn out differently. I wish that we made voting easier on people by giving everyone the day off or at least a more flexible schedule on Election Day. Also, we don't have enough voting sites in many places so people end up waiting hours and hours to vote, and that's not possible for some folks so they have to give up. This is not acceptable. Voting is our most basic right as citizens, and we have to protect that right far better than we have to date."


Your vote matters! No matter what state your in or what side your state leans to it’s important for as many people to cast their votes. Voting is your constitutional right and you should use it to express and try to get your own views into action. Check your voting status at and make sure you go vote on November 3rd and early vote in NYC between October 24 and November 1. (Contributor: Isabel Reiner)