I Just Voted in the Most Important Election of My Life

I'm so excited about November 4 that I can't wait. So I didn't! I just voted early.

I voted to put a person of color in the White House for the first time ever. He's a community organizer from South Side Chi Town, and once we inaugurate him next January, we're gonna help him put this country back on track.

I voted to protect my rights as a gay man. Earlier this year, the California Supreme Court said I could get married to another man if I want to, but Prop 8 threatens to take that right back away from me. When we crush Prop 8 in November, California will be a more just state because of it, and we can focus on the other 47 states that are dragging their feet.

I voted to keep California's youth out of prison. As if we're not broke already, Prop 6 would commit billions of dollars that we don't have to expanding the youth prison system in California. We don't need more prisons for young people! We need creative solutions to keep young people out of prisons, to strengthen their families and communities, and to help them make healthy choices in their lives.

I voted to fight homelessness and displacement. Here in San Francisco, Prop B would set aside money each year to build affordable housing for the working poor, the middle class, and young families. We have a clear choice: either we make a serious commitment to affordable housing to preserve San Francisco's diversity, or we let San Francisco become a playground for the rich.

I voted for clean energy. Prop H moves San Francisco toward real benchmarks: 51% of our electricity from renewable sources in 10 years, and 100% by 2040. And even better - it will create green jobs and training programs that can provide a pathway out of poverty for young people who don't have many other opportunities. That's definitely a better option than prison... take that, Prop 6!

I don't know what it's like in your neck of the woods, but we've got a full slate out here. Besides the President, Congress, and all that big stuff, we've got 12 state ballot measures and 22 local measures in San Francisco. It takes a lot of work to be an educated voter.

As you prepare to vote this year, check out TheBallot.org. You can find progressive local voter guides, created and uploaded by people in your own community, all over the country. And if you can't find one in your city, or if you don't like what you see, you can create your own voter guide and share it with the world.

We've got a chance to make some big changes this November, both in this country, and in the world. But don't forget that real change begins at home, from the ground up. Find out what's going on in your state and in your city, and use your voice this November to make your community a better place.