As part of our Gear Up to Vote effort, we asked our employees, members and partner organizations to share what motivates them to vote. This Why I Vote perspective reflects the opinion of Gaby Delgadillo Sarabia, REI Executive Assistant.
I was born in Mexico in 1984 and was brought to the U.S. illegally at the age of 2. I attended elementary school, middle school and high school as an undocumented immigrant, and when I graduated high school, I remember feeling helpless. I could not make an impact and I envied others’ privilege to vote. Quietly, I felt excluded in the country I grew up in.
It was a long road, but I became a U.S. citizen when I was 28 and my first thought was, “I finally have the privilege to vote and make an impact.” It is not just a right to vote, it is a privilege, and I will vote to make an impact (as small as it may be) in November.
I vote for inclusion. I vote for my niece who is 1 year old and her future. I vote for my past life as an undocumented immigrant. I vote for my family members who were also undocumented immigrants. I vote because it is a privilege of which I am tremendously proud. I will vote.