My name is Mike Rakowsky and I am a lifelong activist. The political climate we are confronting right now is as dire as any I have seen in my 70 years. Sen. Sinema has a unique opportunity to take action to make sure that all Americans can exercise their Constitutional right to vote. That fundamental right is the one that permits all others.
I understood this first hand as I was spurred to activism following the Kent State shootings in 1970. I was a freshman at Brown University. My classmates and I were summoned to the Campus Green that evening and we were informed that afternoon, four innocent students at Kent State University had been shot and killed. A chill went down my spine — this was the town that I had frequented in high school.
From that moment, I understood that justice is not automatic. At that point, I was eligible to be drafted to fight in Vietnam but wasn’t able to legally cast my vote.
The “Old Enough to Fight, Old Enough to Vote” protests streamlined the ratification of the 25th Amendment, making me among the first in America to exercise the 18-year-old vote. Ever since, I have used my feet, my voice and my intellect to stand against injustice wherever I found it.
Now, it is time for Sen. Sinema to rediscover her activist roots and pass the Freedom to Vote Act to ensure all Americans have access to that sacred right.