Peace & Justice
Faith and Resistance Work on Voting
by Maureen McDonnell, OP,
with assistance from Liz Sully, OP,
and Associate Paula Winker
|Students at Dominican University display signs created by Sr. Liz Sully.|
When our Faith and Resistance Working Circle (FRWC) met this past spring, we decided the most urgent need we could address was encouraging people to vote in mid-term elections in November 2022. The most salient, creative idea for doing that came from Liz Sully, OP. She invited all of us to give her all the sayings we could think of—serious and silly—for “VOTE” signs that would be made and used in various ways. We brainstormed a lot of possibilities, chose our favorites, and the sign making began with Liz and some assistants at Sinsinawa Mound. Old poster boards, used on one side and stored away for some future purpose, were found in various nooks and crannies, flipped over, and became fresh material for the new signs:
RECYCLING at its best!
How would these 80+ signs be used? The original idea was to have a rally down the Green Road at Sinsinawa with the cemetery in the background during the August Community Days. The lead voting sign read, “If you are above ground, VOTE!” We contacted some press so that the word could get out to potential voters in the area (not needed for Sinsinawa residents because we have an unsurpassed nearly 100 percent voting record in Grant County!). Then, a COVID outbreak in the area threw a wrench into the works,
causing Community Days to be a virtual event. Though disappointed, we did have a “sign stroll” around St. Dominic Courtyard.
Without the press, the original purpose was defeated … until a new idea emerged. Resuscitation at its finest! The signs were packed up and sent to Dominican University, River Forest, IL, where Peggy Ryan, OP, and others used them to urge college students to VOTE.
An additional effort was spearheaded by Associate Paula Winker (Florida resident) to help voters become better informed. The voting worksheet she created and distributed included links to help voters research candidates’ positions on legislation supporting responsible gun ownership (a recent corporate stance approved by the Congregation). This included step-by-step instructions for finding and researching individual candidates. This worksheet was electronically distributed to each of the Associates. The extent to which it was utilized has not been made known, but Associates were/are invited to share information about this with the FRWC. A wealth of information on the topic can be found on the Giffords Law website at giffords.org/lawcenter/gun-laws/.
So, why vote? For our children’s future, for women’s rights, for the rights of those with disabilities, for veterans, for LGBTQ+ persons, and to honor the great sacrifice of those who suffered to get the right to vote—a huge benefit that belongs to those who live in a democracy.