COMMON: ‘Voting is one of the greatest things a young person can do’

November 2, 2018 /

Academy Award-winning actor and three-time Grammy recipient Common told local students they have the power to make a difference by voting.

“Voting is one of the greatest things a young person can do to create a better future for them and for their homies and everybody that is in your generation,” he said at a youth town hall at the Bakersfield Museum of Art last month.

However, Common didn’t always feel that way, he said. When he was younger, he thought his vote didn’t matter.

“I used to think like that for a while,” he said. “But then I saw things in front of me that tangibly got changed because of voting.”

Since he began voting, he learned one of the most important parts is educating yourself on what’s on the ballot.

“Part of voting is not just going out a voting,” he said. “Part of voting is educating yourself, too.”

Common noted the younger generations often “tweet and Instagram” their opinions, and it’s important for them to take those opinions to the polls.

“I believe voting is the action item beyond the tweet,” he said. “The tweet is almost like ‘I’m going to say something about it.’ And voting is ‘I’m going to do something about it.'”

Common has partnered with former First Lady Michelle Obama for the “When We All Vote” campaign, a campaign that brings together citizens, institutions, and organizations to spark a conversation about rights and responsibilities in shaping democracy.

Election day is Tuesday, Nov. 6.

Common told the students in Bakersfield, “Voting takes work, and you got to show up. It’s time for you to show up.”


Elizabeth Sanchez

Elizabeth Sanchez is the program associate for South Kern Sol. She can be reached at