As an immigrant, gender non-conforming person of color in a queer relationship, diverse leadership really matters to me. AND that’s one of the main reasons I support Ranked Choice Voting for Rochester local elections.

A small percentage of nondiverse primary voters cast ballots in August primaries and decide who gets to be on the ballot in November. With RCV at the local nonpartisan level, it combines the primary and general elections into one election day when turnout is highest and most diverse.

RCV encourages more diverse candidates to run and win. Diverse leadership is a sign of a strong and engaged community. Minneapolis has its most diverse city council and St. Paul elected its first African American mayor since adopting RCV. Rochester is becoming more diverse and our leadership should reflect the people who live, work and vote here.

More candidates reaching across their bass to more voters means more people engaging in conversation that affect their day-to-day lives. Which in turn encourages more participation in local government. RCV inspires more people to vote. We need to improve our current system so everyone’s vote truly matters and that we have an electoral system more welcoming to candidates with diverse backgrounds.

Please join me in supporting the move to Ranked Choice Voting for stronger and more diverse leadership in Rochester!

Vangie Castro, Rochester

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