I wish we didn’t have to encourage young professionals to vote, but the reality is that we don’t all partake is this amazing American right – especially at the local level.

You have the opportunity to exercise that right in Omaha today, when you cast your vote for Omaha’s next mayor and city council leadership.

I have had time to reflect on this recently for a very specific reason: my wife and I are hosting a woman from Ukraine as part of an exchange program. She is staying at our house while she participants in an educational series in Omaha that includes American History, local government and leadership. And as she learns about our governmental and community institutions, she has also educated us on her country and community.

As a country, we are young. Yet we have the oldest working democracy in existence. That alone is something for which we should be proud. This is due to a great extent on our constitutional right to vote. We are a country built on Citizen Governance. However, that takes a level of commitment from the citizenry itself to participate in the process (a process that not all the peoples of the world are fortunate enough to have).

Sometimes I think we take it for granted. But we should take time to reflect on our system, as imperfect as it can be at times, and take comfort in the sheer fact that we have a voice.

That voice is wielded through voting. Voting is a personal act but as such should not be taken personally. Every person who takes the time to get involved in the political process deserves our respect. You show that respect by voting. We are young professionals and we are a young country, but we are a great combination of citizens who at their core care about each other and their community in such a way that we can participate through the right to vote. Whomever or whatever you believe in and support, voting is how we as Americans show the world who we are.

Make time to cast your vote in Omaha today. Visit www.votedouglascounty.com to learn more about the candidates running for local office.