Why Veterans at Cloudera are Urging Us to Vote

Why Veterans at Cloudera are Urging Us to Vote

With both the US election and Veterans Day right around the corner, veterans at Cloudera have been telling us their stories, including why they want us all to Make Time to Vote. 

The US has a long and evolving history with voting. Across generations, people have fought to gain and improve voting rights for all Americans, and in return, are honored for their sacrifices by having those rights be performed and visions fulfilled. Even so, we’ve been hovering around 50-65% voter turnout since the 1948 General Election with not every eligible voter showing up to perform their civic duty. 

We are already seeing a resurgence of voter turnout for the 2020 US General Election. At the time of publishing, early voter turnout is breaking records as we cross the 60MM mark and keep climbing.

As part of the increased investment in our company culture, and from the recommendation of our Veterans ERG, our executive leadership team eagerly committed Cloudera to join the Time to Vote movement. “Time To Vote is a nonpartisan, business-led initiative to help ensure employees across America don’t have to choose between voting and earning a paycheck.” 

One of the most common reasons people give for not voting is that they are too busy with the demands of work and life, which is why we have decided to help remove that barrier for our employees.

Through the use of existing weekly “No-Meeting” days, regular “Unplug Days”, and flexible schedules, we encourage all teams to take the time they need to vote. That could include taking time out to understand the ballots, setting time in calendars to complete mail-in ballots, or having time blocked to vote in-person. We also are encouraging employees to use this time to volunteer in their local communities, to assist and enable voting. 

And we aren’t stopping there. We’ve created a global policy, applying to all government elections, not just those in the United States.

Since our Veterans ERG inspired our participation in the Time to Vote movement, we wanted to highlight their voices about why this is so important.

Here is what they had to say: 

Voting is a right many have fought for. 

Otho Lyon, Cloudera’s Director of Support, Public Sector expressed that to him, voting is paramount. As a member of the armed forces, he fought to protect our freedoms which include the right to vote. Men and women sacrifice their time with family, their way of living and some pay the ultimate sacrifice so that we can continue to live our lives as normal citizens.

Our Chief Human Resources Officer, Bob Mahan, who served in the US Air Force went on to add that many continue to fight for these rights and our freedoms still. “You may think there are no active wars going on today, but everyday members of the military put their lives on the line to protect the rights and freedoms that we enjoy here in the USA.”

Voting is our duty as citizens. 

For Henry Sowell, Sr. Director, Solutions Engineering who served in the US Marine Corps, serving in the military gave him a newfound perspective of voting as a responsibility. He feels that it’s not only our right but a call to action we must all answer. “As citizens, it’s our duty to be informed, to participate, and share our voice through voting.” 

This call to action is one that many in other countries do not have. Jim Ewton, CGSI Security Officer, discussed how his time overseas has allowed him to witness countries that restrict freedom of speech and citizens’ ability to take part in the election of their leadership. “The very essence of the right and value to vote is a freedom everyone in the United States should cherish.” 

Voting is our thank you. 

As these Clouderan Vets share their take on voting and its importance, we hear loud and clear that voting isn’t only our right and duty, it’s a chance to show our appreciation to those who have and continue to protect our freedoms. As Bob shared, “By exercising those rights and taking time out of our day to vote for the leaders of this nation, you are saying ‘Thank You’ to those men and women and recognizing their sacrifices.” 

In return, we say “Thank You” to our Cloudera Veterans. Thank you for your service. Thank you for speaking up and reminding us how important it is to vote. Through your lens, we can see that exercising our right to vote is so much more than casting a ballot. It’s a freedom many fight to protect, it’s a duty as a US citizen and it’s our chance to show appreciation to those who have served our country. 

Cloudera not only encourages everyone to vote and make your voice heard, we support you in making the time to accomplish this. If you haven’t made a plan to vote, check out these voter resources for more information.

Rory Ruedas
Talent Branding Specialist
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