What Now Ruth Bader Ginsburg?

Disclaimer: This is an opinionated piece.

“Mami, when I grow up I’m gonna be a lawyer!” said four-year-old me, once upon a time. Born in 2000, I was born with the privilege to dream. I never jumped to the idea that I am a female, so I can’t study and practice the law, or be good at it. There’s a whole generation of girls like me who can now begin to feel comfortable in our positions of leadership, responsibility, and triumph. 

No generation becomes better without the tireless work of the one before. Women that have fought for the equality of all people, while being the minority in their own field; Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a woman who believed in the law, and in the future - and believed that the law will shape the future, undoubtedly. The Notorious RBG, as they call her, has moved mountains for women in the court house, allowing us reproductive rights, financial rights, labor rights, and so much more. A woman who so gracefully and fiercely protected the basic rights that all people in this country should have, passed away a hero and an inspiration. It's her, and her story alone, that inspires me to keep working, and for us to keep working on the goal. We really aren’t in pursuit of equality, or even equity, but justice rather:

Justice Ginsburg always recited this quote, “I ask no favor for my sex, I simply ask my brethren, to take their foots off our necks." So, with that lingering in the back of my mind and the minds of millions, the question is, with her peaceful passing, what now?

There is still so much work to be done before we can consider our society to be fair and just for all people, which means that with the passing of Justice Ginsburg, the work becomes so much more crucial, since the results are so critical. After the news went public, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez went live on Instagram to share her plan to move us forward together, to make sure all of the work done by RBG never has the chance to do anything but keep progressing. 

So, here’s what’s on the to-do list before this upcoming election, according to Congresswoman AOC and I. 

  1. 1. Check Your Voter Registration

    November is coming protest signs

    There’s links all over Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat, that takes you to the website to check your voter status! When you do this make sure that one, you are registered to vote, and if not, you do that. 

    Then, be sure you are requesting a mail-in ballot if that is what works best for you! If you know you’re going to be voting in person, make sure you know what location you will be going to, check their hours, and make sure you’ll have enough time on election day to make it there and cast your ballot. 

  2. 2. Update Your Voter Registration

    "we the people are greater than fear" sign from the women's march in NYC

    With being back and forth from college, home, your friends house, auntie’s house, wherever - you may be in a different location than what your voter registration has filed for you. UPDATE your information! This is the best way to ensure you receive all of the information of election day, you know where your ballot is and make sure it gets to you. Don’t let the silly mistake of wrong or missing information on your voter registration keep you from voting. The stakes are way too high for this election, no excuses!

  3. 3. VOTE!

    Seriously. Fill in that little circle, put it in the box, grab a sticker, everything! VOTE! Remember that this election cannot afford much. We cannot afford a weak turnout. We cannot afford random write-ins or skipping over the presidential box. The choice is between progress and destruction, and in my humble opinion, that’s not being dramatic. Vote. Vote. Vote.

  4. 4. Organize

    Black Lives Matter march holding banners and signs.

    Politics is all about the people. Politicians don’t win elections without the endless work of their organizers. You don’t need to build an organization ground up, especially five weeks away from election night, but do some research in your area and find groups and organizations that are already working in your community to push the election in the right direction. And there are some, trust me! Once you find a legit one you want to work for, put in some hours! There really is no better feeling than knowing you took the initiative to actively make an outstanding contribution and difference in this country. We’ve got to put in the work.

  5. 5. Use Your Relationships

    Black Lives Matter Protest in Minneapolis

    Congresswomen AOC made the greatest point in saying that each and every one of us has someone in which only we can get through to. We all have at least one person who is willing to wholeheartedly listen to what we have to say, who is willing to open up their minds to us. This is the time and place in which we utilize these relationships, and we each make sure that our loved ones and peers are informed, educated, and on the same page as us when it comes to their decision on November 3. This is so important because a lot of the time people just need to have one good conversation, maybe they are confused or misguided, which is completely understandable. But the truth is, too much is at stake here, so it is worth the extra effort to provide resources and information to those in your life. 

  6. 6. Stay Informed

    black lives matter protester holding sign

    This one is from me, but oh my gosh, stay updated and inform yourself! A lot is going to be happening within the administration right now, and it is best to know what is happening for a number of reasons. For one, you need to stay educated, that is the most crucial part of being involved, you have to involve yourself. Second, if you are going to promise yourself that you will be making sure that those around you are informed and involved, you need to be properly aware of the facts and current events so that you can speak and converse about them intelligently. Finally, we’ve learned enough that things can change in the blink of an eye, so by being constantly informed, you’ll always be current on any changes or breaking stories. 

Testifying in the Supreme Court, Ruth Bader Ginsburg told the Justices, “We're not asking you to change the country. That's already happened without any court's permission. We're asking you to protect the right of the country to change.” 

The United States has such a long way to go, but we’re on the way. Everyday we become more accepting and tolerant of our neighbors. We're willing to fight for them, and they’re willing to fight for us. The law, however, is the tortoise in this race towards equal protection and justice. That’s why politics are important, that’s why this election is so black and white, that’s why Ruth Bader Ginsburg represented the people until her very last breath, and, “Mami, that’s why I’m going to be a lawyer.”