Voting and power

This week I spent time reading letters and documents between various stockholders of the San Antonio Water Company. Many of the letters addressed to the company appointed L. S. Dyan to vote in their place. I was surprised that these individuals trusted someone else to vote in their place. The San Antonio Water Company met annually with its stockholders to vote; the stocks corresponded to the number of votes that person had. L. S. Dyan therefore gained significant voting power because of the number of stocks he had been entrusted to represent. Although the democracy in the United States of America does not function like a stockholder vote, the two elections– the one I read about in 1886 with the stockholders of the San Antonio Water Company and the other in an increasingly polarized society in 2018– highlight the correlation between voting and power. It is easy to think that one vote does not matter in the grand scheme of things, but the sense of collective power that has been conjured on this election day calls many to vote, in some cases for the first time in a midterm election. I am writing this post fairly early in the day, but am feeling hopeful that the opinions of my generation will be heard loudly and clearly, as we have inherited this world wrought with many problems and have already been creative in solving some of those problems. We need to take advantage of the collective platform given to us by voting, to enact change.