Dr. Maya Angelou is a woman I admire and this Obama campaign letter I received in my e-mail is another reminder of how important the 2012 Presidential Election is for all of us. She and I both believe that it is our job to vote. It is a responsibility, right and privilege of every US citizen to cast their ballot. Women worked too many years to get the right to vote. This year our vote is more important than ever, the Republican candidates are going to pass laws and appoint the next members to the Supreme Court to take away women's rights.
I am not writing to you as a black voter, or a woman voter, or as a voter who is over 70 years old and six feet tall. I am writing to you as a representative of this great country -- as an American.
It is your job to vote. It is your responsibility, your right, and your privilege. You may be pretty or plain, heavy or thin, gay or straight, poor or rich.
But remember this: In an election, every voice is equally powerful -- don't underestimate your vote. Voting is the great equalizer.
Voting has already begun in some states that President Obama needs to win.
As a country, we can scarcely perceive the magnitude of our progress.
My grandmother and my uncle experienced circumstances that would break your heart. When they went to vote, they were asked impossible questions like, "How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?" When they couldn't answer, they couldn't vote.
I once debated with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. about whether an African American would ever be elected president. He believed it would happen within the next 40 years at the time -- I believed it would never happen within my lifetime.
I have never been happier to have been proven wrong.
And since President Barack Obama's historic election, we've moved forward in courageous and beautiful ways. More students can afford college, and more families have access to affordable health insurance. Women have greater opportunities to get equal pay for equal work.
Yet as Rev. King wrote, "All progress is precarious."
So don't sit on the sidelines. Don't hesitate. Don't have any regrets. Vote.
Your vote is not only important. It's imperative.
Dr. Maya Angelou