Health Citizenship: Why a Re-awakening of Civic Engagement can Lead to Better Health

The past several months have been some of the most trying we have ever experienced in our country. The convergence of a global pandemic, economic recession, and civil unrest spurred by racial injustice alongside a presidential election keeps the news cycle flooded with breaking events every hour (at least). Many of these events are difficult to reckon with, and I – like so many Americans – have worried about our future. But, more often than not, I find myself driven and encouraged. Seeing the global scientific community coming together to develop and commercialize vaccines and therapies for COVID-19. Seeing millions of Americans across the country peacefully protest to fight for racial justice. I am driven when I sit down with my teenage children and hear about the issues that are important to them and talk about what we as a family are doing to make a difference.

Having said that, the first Tuesday in November is one of the most important days we can all make a difference: Election Day. This year will be like no other Election Day in history. Election Day will be different for W2O’s U.S. employees because we are giving everyone the day off to ensure they can do their civic duty and cast their ballots. We’ve committed to this publicly by joining Time to Vote, a nonpartisan movement, led by the business community, to contribute to the culture shift needed to increase voter participation in U.S. elections.

I’m grateful that our business and our clients allow us this type of flexibility, and this is a decision we made with intention. Encouraging civic engagement among our employees and doing our part to drive voter turnout is a natural extension of our values and our work to make the world a healthier place – something we call Health Citizenship.

Here’s why:

  1. Health is directly connected to government and public policy – at all levels. What happens at the polls in the United States impacts the health of all U.S. residents – and in many ways, the health of people around the world. To advance health outcomes for everyone, we need an informed and engaged electorate who consider health policies when they cast their votes.
  1. The health of our employees is of utmost importance. W2O has offices across the United States and remote employees in many other U.S. locations. We employ the best and the brightest, and what happens in their communities plays a role in how they deliver for our clients every day.
  2. Voting is one of the most important rights you have to make your voice heard. As a company, to create solutions for our clients, we listen carefully to what audiences need and want. As a country, we see and hear what our citizens need and want through their actions and voices, and even more clearly when everyone votes.

We built our business at W2O on an entrepreneurial spirit. If you want to do something, then do it. I can think of no other place that philosophy is more applicable than at the ballot box.

Make sure you’re registered to vote. Make your plan today for how you’ll cast your ballot safely. And do whatever you can to ensure everyone around you does the same.

It’s about making your voice heard. Your passion known. And your future a reality!

Jim Weiss
Jim Weiss

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