Former Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett is pushing for as many people to vote for the upcoming midterm elections — especially women!

“It’s not just that we vote… we get our children to vote, we get our spouses to vote, we get our community to vote,” Jarrett tells ESSENCE. “Everybody pays attention to what women in the family tell them to do. So if we empower women, we empower everyone.”

“What we have been seeing is the incredible impact that women—particularly of African American women—can have on elections, she added, while referencing the role of Black women in the U.S. Senate election of Alabama’s Doug Jones last December.

Jarrett is currently serving as president of the board of Former First Lady Michelle Obama’s nonprofit, “When We All Vote,”  a nonpartisan organization with the goal to get more voters registered. Other high-profile names, including actor Tom Hanks, singer Janelle Monae, “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda and singers Faith Hill and Tim McGraw are involved with the organization.

“Every election is important,” Jarrett says. “And part of what we are doing is changing the culture around voting and getting people to appreciate that it is our basic responsibility of citizenship. Our voices are our power and our vote is the best way to express that voice.”

 

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