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We need to participate in our local and national elections now, more than ever. Please don’t think that your voice doesn’t matter. Take just a moment out of your day to speak up for the people, land, plants, and animals that cannot speak for themselves. If you are concerned about our planet’s future, just as we are, then take the steps below to find and vote for the candidates that share your views and have plans to make a positive change!





Step 1- Register to vote

You can register by mail to vote in Texas by printing a voter registration form, filling it out, and mailing it to your local election office. You can also register to vote in person if you prefer. Texas does NOT offer online voter registration. Register: https://www.votetexas.gov/register/index.html

  • The deadline for registering by mail to vote is (postmarked by) Monday, October 5, 2020.

  • The deadline to register in person to vote is Monday, October 5, 2020.



Who can vote

To register in Texas you must:

  • be a citizen of the United States

  • be a resident of the county in which the application for registration is made

  • be at least 17 years and 10 months old (you must be 18 to vote)

  • not be finally convicted of a felony, or if a convicted felon, you must have fully discharged your punishment, including any incarceration, parole, supervision, period of probation, or be pardoned

  • have not been declared mentally incompetent by final judgment of a court of law

  • *find more information on voting rights restoration here


Step 2- Research political parties/candidates

Being an informed voter allows individuals to select candidates based on their state's platforms, without relying on party propaganda or media coverage. By researching parties and candidates, informed voters are able to make knowledgeable decisions about who their votes support. The American Association of State Colleges and Universities offers a comprehensive guide to becoming an informed voter.


Step 3- Know the issues

Once a new voter is familiar with the basic tenets of political parties, they are able to learn about the issues at stake during the election. Be it a presidential or city council election, candidates almost always share the vision for their time in office on their website. Voters should review this information and consider how it aligns with their personal beliefs about how the government should function.


*To see where candidates stand on environmental issues, visit this website and click on the area of concern:


https://www.politico.com/2020-election/candidates-views-on-the-issues/energy-environment/




Step 4- Check state rules and regulations


Most voting stations are open at least 12 hours on election day, allowing students or those with busy workdays ample time to vote. Although only 35 states currently require voters to show a photo ID, first-time voters who registered by mail have other requirements. According to federal law, individuals who have not voted previously must bring a valid photo ID or a bill, pay stub, or government document showing their name and current address.


Step 5- Find your polling place


State election offices assign polling locations based on a voter’s address, so students and others who aren’t sure where to go to vote can either contact their election office or use Can I Vote to find your polling location and dates. Information about state and local election offices can be found via the search tool on USA.gov


Step 6- Cast your ballot

Dates and deadlines

  • Election Day is Tuesday, November 3, 2020.

  • The deadline for registering by mail to vote is (postmarked by) Monday, October 5, 2020.

  • The deadline to register in-person to vote is Monday, October 5, 2020.

  • The deadline to request a ballot by mail is (received by) Friday, October 23, 2020.

  • The early voting period runs from Tuesday, October 13, 2020, to Friday, October 30, 2020, but dates and hours may vary based on where you live.


*Information found at www.accreditedschoolsonline.org

  • Leonor

During the holiday season, sides have always been my absolute favorite. Nothing is better than mashed potatoes & gravy, savory stuffing, roasted sweet potatoes and, of course, pies! So, for the next couple of weeks, we will focus on some delicious, lighter and slightly more nutritious versions of Thanksgiving sides. We will be using vegan butter, sneaking in a little butternut squash and using non-dairy milk for delicious, creamy mashed potatoes.


Ingredients:

6 medium russet potatoes (peeled and cubed)

1 small butternut squash (peeled and cubed)

6 cups hot water (or enough to cover vegetables)

2 bouillon cubes (I used Edward & Sons Not-Chicken Natural Bouillon Cubes)

1/2 tsp granulated garlic powder

4 tbsp butter (I used Melt Organic - Rich & Creamy Butter http://meltorganic.com)

1/4 cup non-dairy milk (I used cashew milk- see link for the recipe below) https://i.pinimg.com/originals/e5/ee/20/e5ee207b68c405c63f671d25f9072ce0.png

Salt & pepper to taste


Directions:

1. Put potatoes and butternut squash in a pot.

2. Add hot water to cover potatoes and squash, then add bouillon cubes. Cover and cook at medium heat for 30 minutes or until both are tender.

3. Drain excess water.

4. Add butter, granulated garlic, mix and smash with a potato masher (or a fork!)

5. Add milk. Mix well.

6. Add salt & pepper to taste.

7. Serve and enjoy!


  • Leonor

This is a super quick rich and delicious dish (with very few ingredients) you can make in less than 30 minutes- I promise! I don't recall where I found the original recipe, so if you know it please let me know so that I may provide proper credit. I make this dish often and it's so simple that I never had to reference the original post. The only change I made was to add a bouillon cube or two. I like to make a double batch for the week along with some white rice. You can switch up the way you serve this picadillo - over some rice one day and rolled into a tortilla with some refried beans the next. You can even go wild by roasting sweet potatoes and topping it with this yummy dish. Well, let's get to it!


Ingredients:

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp garlic powder

2 bouillon (I used Edward & Sons Not-Beef Natural Bouillon Cubes)

1 yellow onion (diced)

1 cup walnuts (chopped)

2 cans black lentils ( drained and rinsed)

salt & pepper to taste



Directions:

1. Heat pan, add oil, add onions and saute until translucent.

2. Add bouillon cubes, mix well, add chopped walnuts, mix and cook until golden.

3. Add black lentils, mix, cook for 5 minutes.

4. Taste and adjust seasoning.

5. Serve over rice and enjoy!