Results from Brit Olam’s 100% Voting Congregation Campaign

Brit Olam advocates for lasting change on social justice issues of shared significance.

Thank you so much to everyone who participated in Brit Olam’s 100% VOTING CONGREGATION campaign for the 2020 General election. A substantial portion of the IHC congregation signed our pledge, and we’re confident that many, many more of us voted.

We circulated updated election information, including details about how to register, election sites, early voting, rides to the polls, and absentee voting. On our Brit Olam Facebook page,  we asked you to tell us why they voted. We received answers as various and beautiful as our congregation. You can see all the answers here, and we’d love to have you add to our collection by emailing to tell us why YOU voted.

We undertook this campaign to encourage a spirit of action in our community and are heartened by your participation. We will continue to learn from you what is important and call on you to advocate for change. The next legislative session approaches, and there will certainly be bills coming up that would make voting better for Hoosiers. Look for calls to action in January and February.

Also look for calls to action during that same time frame to reduce the number of and harm that comes from evictions. Evictions have a serious impact on children, education, and the poverty rate.  We are currently reading the Pulitzer Prize winning book, Evicted, which highlights the issues of extreme poverty, affordable housing, and economic exploitation in the U.S. A second reading group will start in January. To learn more, email Bob Hewitt (

2020 100% Voting Congregation “Why We Vote” Contributions

These are presented in the order that they appeared on the Brit Olam Facebook page.

Rochelle Cohen:
I am a first generation American. My father, who emigrated from Eastern Europe and my mother who emigrated from Russia, instilled in me the importance of free and fair elections. My parents emigrated to have a better life where they would be free to practice their religion and political beliefs.

At a time when America no longer represents the promise and hope that my parents embraced, voting my heart and intellect are more critical than ever.
I have never missed an election and I am 80 years young. No matter where we were geographically, the necessity to do our civic duty, to vote, was never forgotten. This year more than any in my lifetime is an important one for me to have my say.

Alex Slabosky:
I vote because I can’t, or at least shouldn’t, complain about what our government is doing if I didn’t vote.

Marcella Slabosky:
I vote because I always have an opinion about who would do the best job as a public servant, and I want my opinion to prevail. So we should all vote!

New Community Zion Church member, Jody Odell:
Our democracy is stronger and healthier when everyone is heard.

Andy Arenson:
Have you ever thought about what it would have been like to live in some ancient country with a King or Emperor and absolutely no say in who runs the country? It’s amazing that society reached a point of allowing people to vote. I don’t want to waste that.

Miles Nelson:
I’m infuriated by those who choose to deny COVID science. I’m angered by those who deny climate science. I’m saddened by those who choose greed over the welfare of others. So, I vote. I vote for leaders who fight to for our health, safety and well-being. I vote for leaders who fight to protect our environment. And, I vote for those who speak out for others in need. I vote, because My Vote is My Voic

Lynn Slivka:
I vote because I believe in our collective future. As the granddaughter of immigrants, I vote because I believe that our country must continue to be a place of welcome for people who have been forced to flee. I vote to choose good leaders–people we can admire and respect.

Marcia Goldstein:
I remember the first time I voted – at that time you had to be 21 – and the pride and excitement I felt. I’ve never missed an election since then and feel the same pride and excitement.It’s both my responsibility and my privilege.

Shira Malone:
I vote even though my voice is a minority in this state, because each voice matters. I will not waste my vote with an utterance of, “it won’t matter in Indiana,” because no matter I vote. Because voting is not only my civic duty, it is the privilege of living in a democracy. Because all people are entitled to equal rights and those rights are under threat. Because the time is now to eradicate systemic racism. Because the earth is on fire and we must act now for future generations. Because a woman must control her own body. Because every person must be free to love and marry who they love. Because income disparity has grown exponentially eroding opportunity and fairness. Because hate, bigotry, and division must be given no quarter in our country. Because every person must be free to pursue their own or no spiritual path

Sarah Freeman:
I vote because it is my right and a privilege. I vote so my voice is heard. I vote because I matter. I vote because you matter. I vote to make our city, state, country, and world better. And I vote because I like getting stickers

Steven Bulloff: I have never fired a shot in defense of our country. I have never rescued anyone from a burning building. I have never saved a life in a health care facility. But I have a vote, my vote is powerful, and my vote can save the world. At the very least, I can do this. And so can you.

Linda Hewitt:
I vote because I care. I care about our country and democracy and upholding the values I believe in. I care about the lack of equality that SHOULD be inherent in those values. I care about so many people and groups who have not been as fortunate as me and who have been discriminated against. I vote because my Jewish values teach that I must care about and act for social justice, gender equality, racial justice, criminal justice reform, and all other forms of true justice.

Robert Hewitt:
I vote to make a difference, to support candidates who are most closely aligned with my values, and with policies that promote those values.

Matt Hastings:
I like the feeling of being a part of something larger than myself. Too many times in our lives we can feel powerless and unable to cope with the world around us. When I add my vote to those of others, my single voice becomes a hundred, a thousand, A MILLION. I become a member for change, instead of just screaming into the void. Voting connects me to a vast community and spreads my ideals far beyond the reaches of my personal world. Win or lose, I know I did my part in making this world a better place. Plus, they give me a sticker.

Susan Haskell:
I Vote because I respect the privilege. I vote because it’s my voice. I vote because it’s meaningful. I vote to effect change. I am proud to vote, proud to wear the “I voted” sticker

Carol Bogar:
I VOTE BECAUSE:  My father taught me that voting is ABSOLUTELY the right of all citizens. I VOTE BECAUSE:  I feel proud to live in a country that allows me this right. I VOTE BECAUSE:  I love the feeling, the smell, the taste of walking into a voting booth. I VOTE BECAUSE: My grandmother was the first woman to register to vote in Gibson County in 1920. I VOTE BECAUSE: I say this for the first time. My Spanish teacher, Cecilia Scalini, from Buenos Aires said that voting in Argentina was beautiful. As a young woman, she voted in a democratic election. Before then, she knew only a dictatorship. I vote because Cecilia appreciates the right to vote. She is a US citizen and ALWAYS votes.

Beth Wathen:
I vote because my parents voted. I vote because my grandparents, aunts and uncles and my older siblings voted before I could. I vote because both my grandmothers were born at a time when women couldn’t vote. I vote because I was a young girl watching events of the Civil Rights Movement unfold on TV. I vote because others before me have been humiliated, beaten, bled and died for me to be able to vote. This year, I vote in memory of Rep. John Lewis and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg.

Marilyn Smith:
I vote because my mom took me with her to vote since I was born, and she taught me that being a good citizen requires voting. I vote because it’s my civic duty as an American.

Stanley Talesnick:
I must vote to make sure that my grandchildren and their children will be able to enjoy the freedoms of our vibrant democracy that so many of our bygone generations have fought and died to create and preserve and protect!

Dodie M. Stein:
I vote because, to me, (1) it’s a civic and moral responsibility in a democracy and (2) to make my voice heard.

Kate and Charlie Sim:
I’m Mazel Tov. My humans, Kate and Charlie Sim, say you’re either part of the problem or you’re part of the solution. VOTE!

Susan Rider:
I vote for the next generation to ensure they have a voice and live in a world that is centered around policies to move the world forward.

Anastasia Renfro:
I vote because voting is a privilege that was hard-won (especially speaking as a woman), and is not forever guaranteed. I vote because of what is at stake. And I vote because I want democracy to prevail in this country, and showing up and voting is the only way to achieve that.

Rabbi Jordana Chernow:
I voted because my parents showed us it was the right thing to do. I voted for my kids and the generations after them.

Lauren Cantor:
I vote in every election because voting is an opportunity for change and my community depends on me. Every vote matters!

Lou Harry:
I vote because our country has not come close yet to reaching its potential.

Cindy Weiss Harry:
I vote because we need to ensure we are giving the next generations a country that is better than we found it.

Henry Efroymson:
I vote because we are witnessing what happens when we don’t.

Lorraine Ball:
I vote, because it matters.

Roberta Schweitzer:
I voted because each vote counts and it is my right and responsibility as a citizen.