On the Friday before Election Day, we are proud to cast a spotlight on two members of our community who have been actively involved in getting out the vote: Jane Marinsky and Renee Stith. Jane is an editorial and children’s book artist, author and educator. She has three grown daughters and two grandchildren. Renee is a consultant and resource teacher for many years including for City Honors School. Renee lives in Buffalo and has three grown children and two grandchildren.
Jane and Renee have always prescribed to the belief of tikkun olam, that it is our responsibility and passion to work toward a better and healthier world, and one way to achieve that was to help more people have a voice through voting.
The two women formed a group that went to politicians’ offices, organized town halls, and wrote postcards to express their concerns. They met weekly in person, writing on the issues most pressing to them. As elections drew near, they focused on ways to “Get-Out-The-Vote.” For people who couldn’t come in person, they put take-home kits together. When COVID made it impossible to continue in person, they continued this vital service by making kits available for porch pickup each week. From the spring through this fall, the group of 40 along with congregants from community temples wrote over 40,000 postcards to voters.
Throughout history, so many Americans have fought and sacrificed for the right to vote to ensure taxes are spent wisely, there is job security and workplace safety, sound education systems, healthcare, social security, highway improvements, and neighborhood safety. Thank you Jane and Renee and all those who have dedicated the past several months to ensure that those in our region have easy access and the opportunity to vote for candidates of their choice.