In 1597, Sir Francis Bacon wrote one of the most important sentences that everyone was already thinking: “Knowledge is power.” And though over 400 years has passed since the publication of ‘Meditationes Sacrae and Human Philosophy,’ the statement is still true. Without knowledge of current events, of what is happening in your community, school, work, family and so on, there seems to be a loss of power. Without staying in the know on what to know a dependency starts to form. Dependent on others to stay informed and later inform you of issues that are pressing; dependent on second or third-hand information and trusting that there is little to no bias. And this can work, for a while, but it’s not consistent.
Knowing what is happening and staying informed is the start of empowerment. By staying educated on what individuals in all walks of industry and life believe, you’re able to question what you want and how you can support that vision. For example, if you’re going to paint your house you won’t just go to the store, buy a gallon of paint, and then put it on the walls. First you check which paint is the most suitable – the ingredients and any reports of negative impacts on individuals that used the brand before you. Then, you’ll buy samples, painting small squares in different segments of the room to see how the light hits the color, what it looks like dried and if it clashes with the furniture you already have. After deciding which color works, and moving furniture out of the room, covering moldings with painter’s tape and setting down cloth for the floor, you buy the gallons of paint and get to work. Throughout the process you stay informed on the paint – what’s inside, what it does and how it impacts you. So why should elections be any different?
Knowing what a candidate stands for and what their goals are is the first step to voting (other than ensuring that you’re registered of course, which you can make sure that you are here). But researching the platforms of so many candidates can be time consuming, emotionally taxing and just difficult. That’s why events like The League of Women Voters Charlotte Mecklenburg’s Candidates Forum are vital to civic engagement. This coming Fall there will be three Candidate Forums in which candidates will be discussing issues that impact everyone, so come and hear what our leaders stand for. Save the dates now and empower yourself forever!