Bradley Beal voted for the first time in 2020, nearly 10 years after he was first eligible. “I didn’t think my vote counted,” he said at the time. Well, it did. And yours does, too.
Next Tuesday, November 8, every single American will have something to vote for. There are federal races (U.S. Senators in some states, U.S. Congressional Members for everybody) – but far more relevant to everyone’s daily lives are the hyper local elected officials and referendums which are on most voters’ ballots.
“Off year” election years – like 2022 – are so crucial to us building the kinds of communities we want to live in. Local regulations, local spending of your tax dollars, policies around social issues are ones that will affect you and your family every day. And yet too many people don’t bother to show up and exercise their voice in our democracy to elect leaders who will stand up for those values.
But that change does not happen overnight – nor does it come with just one election cycle. Brad didn’t become the superstar he is today by just shooting the basket once. It takes repeated action, over and over and over and over. So, if your candidate or cause doesn’t win this time – remember, you must keep at it. With so much opportunity for change at our fingertips, this is the time to harness our collective power with continued voting.
Monumental Sports & Entertainment takes civic engagement seriously – led by the passionate voices of Brad and Mystics’ guard Natasha Cloud who have focused their energy on voting to achieving social and economic justice – so we encourage our fans and community members to do the same. Our teams, players, and staff have all championed this passion and activated on voting, from messages to over 10 million combined followers on our teams’ social accounts and their online voting hubs, to personal posts from players to staff training to volunteer as poll workers and voting advocates. Just last week, the Wizards hosted Vote Night, donned special “DMV Votes” shooting shirts, and shared voting-focused messages and resources on the center hung during the game. Additionally, and in alignment with new League scheduling, there will be no NBA games on Election Day to help get fans out of their homes and to the polls!
This year, with nonpartisan nonprofit HeadCount, our entire organization has recommitted to doing our part to encourage voter registration not just for 2022, but also in 2023. There are races next year across our fan base – the entire Virginia House of Delegates, Virginia State Senate, and municipality elections in cities and counties of Northern Virginia, in addition to mayoral elections in Richmond, VA and Baltimore, MD.
Fans can stop by the registration table at Capital One Arena for all Wizards and Capitals games and concerts, and Entertainment & Sports Arena for all Mystics games next season. If you’re already registered to vote, you can still stop by to take additional civic action including checking your status, finding your polling location, or contacting your local representative. So far, we have over 2,000 engagements from fans with our initiative and we’re on track to double those numbers by next year.
And this builds on the work we began in 2020, when we opened our venues to nearly 4,500 people to vote in person at Capital One Arena and Entertainment & Sports Arena during the Early Voting period and on Election Day. Thousands more people used the secure drop boxes at both arenas to cast their votes.
So, remember, your vote is your voice. It matters – and it only truly works if you exercise it regularly.