Ugh, politics. I love it. But currently hate it. This post is not to tell you who to vote for. This is not about Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton but on the other elections happening this year that have been dwarfed in importance because of the media circus surrounding our presidential candidates.
I am writing this to inform on the other races taking place because 1) it is the last day to register to vote in some states 2) the "other" races have not been as widely talked about and 3) they are a little more complex and a large percentage of American's are uninformed on their importance. I'm talkin' about Congress. There really should be a "Girlfriends' Guide to Politics"...
Congress is divided into 2 parts: the House of Representatives (which I will refer to as the House) and and the Senate.
This year, in the 2016 election, Senate seats in 34 states, and all 435 House seats are up for election. Elections will determine which party is the minority and the majority. Currently both the House and the Senate, so Congress, is controlled by the Republican party. Therefore the majority leaders of both the House and the Senate are Republicans and the minority leaders are Democrats.
House of Representatives. The number of seats (a total of 435) is determined by state population. That means the state of California obviously has more seats than Wyoming. 246 seats are currently occupied by Republicans to the 186 by Democrats. The head of the House, known as Speaker of the House, is Paul Ryan (R-WI.) The majority leader is Kevin McCarthy (R-CA.) Minority leader is Nancy Pelosi (D-CA.)
Senate. The number of seats in the Senate is different from the House as it is not determined by population. Each state has two representatives no matter their population. Some states, for instance Alabama, have 2 Republican senators. States like Colorado have 1 Republican and 1 Democrat. 54 seats are currently occupied by Republicans to 46 by Democrats. The head of the Senate is the Vice President, who is of course, Joe Biden (D.) The majority leader is Mitch McConnell (R-KY.) Minority leader is Harry Reid (D-NV.)
Let's throw it back to high school (maybe middle school) civics. There are 3 branches of government. The Executive branch is the President of the United States (POTUS) as well as a couple million employees. The Judicial branch is made up of the courts (Supreme Court and lower.) The final is the Legislative branch which is, of course, the House and the Senate. They meet in that building in the top photo located in Washington D.C., the Capitol building in the area known as Capitol Hill.
Legislative means lawmaking which is exactly what Congress does. It shares those powers with POTUS and the Supreme Court. So while we are electing ONE person (very powerful, nonetheless) to be president, this year we are also electing FOUR HUNDRED AND SIXTY NINE members of Congress on November 8, 2016. How many times have you heard about this on the news? Not many I would venture to guess.
The bottom line to this post is I know people are completely fed up with this election. I have heard "I'm not voting. I don't like either of them" SO many times. I am writing this to say DO NOT NOT VOTE. There is far more at stake, no matter if you are a Democrat or Republican, than just who becomes president. Although the president is a more public figure as compared to the members of Congress, these people are the ones that work with them to get bills passed and laws changed, made or enforced in this country. Lot's of these effect your $$$...so I would pay close attention.
You need to vote. It is your duty as an American citizen. Whoever you choose, do your research and make an informed decision and walk out of that polling station (or after you mail that absentee) feeling super proud to be an American.
Full radio interview: