As a co-op, we believe in the power of people coming together to create meaningful change. And voting is one of the most powerful ways we can make our voices heard. Ahead of the November election, we’re outfitting our co-op community—employees and members alike—with the tools they need to participate.

So, gear up. Then go vote.

Find Your Voting Information

Why I Vote

We know it’s important to vote. But why it’s important is different for everyone. We asked REI employees, members and partners to share why they’re casting ballots this year. Here are their personal perspectives.

In the weeks leading up to the November election, we’ll continue to share more Why I Vote stories from the co-op community.

Rachel Lum
REI Store Manager, Folsom, CA
"Voting ensures the issues which impact my daily life are priorities for our government. As the daughter of a biracial couple, my parents’ marriage was illegal in parts of our country prior to June of 1967. My existence is predicated on the votes of Americans who believed in a future with racial equity and justice. I feel a profound sense of personal responsibility to our future society to vote."
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Tessa DeMarco
REI member since 2019
"I love this Earth to my core, from the national parks that give us a glimpse of the rawness and pureness of the Earth, to the air and water I take for granted daily. I'm lucky to say that on Election Day, I'm choosing to help save the Earth. It’s important to me that generations to come have those amazing experiences with Earth that make you want to high-five, crack a beer, and then do it all over again."
Eric Artz
REI Co-op President & CEO
"Every election is a chance to shape our future. A chance to empower leaders to create the meaningful change we want to see in our society. I vote for the future that my daughters will grow into.... Our elections are a moment to declare our values, to make a statement about our beliefs, and to shape this country’s future."
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Jeanette Honermann
Community Affairs Coordinator at REI
"As a woman, and a person of color, I take every chance to express my choice and to vote, grounded in gratitude to those who literally fought for this opportunity. As recently as the mid-1900s, women, men between 18 and 21 and most African- and Native Americans were barred from voting. Suffrage was a mass movement with diverse voices."
Wendy Garcia
Outings Leader at Latino Outdoors
"Not voting is giving up your voice, and your voice is the most powerful tool that you have. Especially since elections have major consequences as we’ve seen, voting really is just an opportunity to enact change for things that you love and believe in—for example, public lands for me. Voting for people who align with my values is my way to enact that change."
Cam Preston
Retail Operations Video Producer at REI
"I am enrolled in the San Carlos Apache tribe, which is a great honor. However, it means I possess a piece of paper that identifies me at a federal level by my race. This is just one of many ways I have been institutionally divided from other Americans throughout my life. Native Americans were granted citizenship without the right to vote. We struggled for decades to gain the right to have our voices heard in every state in the nation. I won’t let that struggle go to waste."
Karla Amador
Co-founder of the 52 Hike Challenge
"Voting to me is important because I get to take a stand for what I believe in and have my voice heard. … I know sometimes it's easy to get discouraged and feel like one voice doesn't matter, but in the grand scheme of things, it does. ... Think about what could happen if every ballot was counted? I know that as a Latin American woman, I feel privileged to vote and be the example for future generations."
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Austin Hurwitz
REI member since 2014
"I care about my community. We’re certainly at an interesting juncture as a country, and I feel the best way to make an impact starts within your community. … There’s a lot that we can do better, and I think that making our voices heard and doing out civic duty in voting is how we make progress. While it’s just one vote, if everyone were to do their part, we would make a lot of progress."
Theresa Anderson
Retail Operations Manager at REI
"I vote because I value my rights as a Mexican-American woman and as a member of the LGBTQ+ community. I vote to ensure that I have a say in what happens to me, my family and my community, and to set a good example for my son. Voting is a major way we can ensure equality and rights for all people. Without a vote we have no voice."
Lindsay Bourgoine
Director of Policy and Advocacy at Protect Our Winters
"This year, I will show up and vote for the issue of greatest concern to me: climate change. Red or blue, as Americans who love this nation’s great outdoors and the incredible experiences we have and can continue to have in nature, it’s not hard to see that things are changing. … This November, I will show up and cast my ballot for the leaders that commit to addressing this issue for those of us that seek freedom in the great outdoors. And if you, too, love the land, I ask you to make a plan to vote."
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Gear up for Election Day