Reagan Gomez-Preston is serious about voting and you should be too! You may remember her as Zaria from The Parent ‘Hood. Or you may be familiar with her voice from The Cleveland Show as Roberta Tubbs. However, the role she is proudest to play is that of wife to DeWayne Turrentine and a mommy to Scarlett, 5 and Tyger, 18 months. Here, she explains why parents must turn out at the polls this year.
EBONY: Why is voting important to you and why should it be especially important for parents?
Reagan Gomez-Preston: There are so many issues at stake. Taxes, education, women’s rights, Pell Grants, Social Programs…no matter who you are, this election WILL effect you. As a mom, I don’t want a president who wants to cut [children’s] education, and who thinks class size doesn’t matter. As a mom, I care what my president thinks about equal pay. I care what my president thinks about people having access to affordable health care.
EBONY: I am one of your 100k+ followers on Twitter and I know you talk about politics often. What initially sparked your interest in politics and why are you so passionate about it?
RGP: I voted for the first time in 2004. But it wasn’t until Barack Obama ran in 2007-2008 that I really got interested. I’d never watched an election campaign before that. Or debates. I would’ve gladly voted for Hillary. But there was just something about Barack. I had to give him my vote. It’s even more important this time around.
EBONY: You are also passionate about family. Being a wife and a busy mom of two young children, or ‘chirren’ as you often say on Twitter, do you believe women and mothers have a lot at stake in this election, and why?
RGP: Mothers and women do have a lot at stake. Equal pay, the possibility of Planned Parenthood—which provides health care to millions of women—being shut down. Education for our kids being slashed. [Women] not being able to control our own bodies. Pell Grants for college students being slashed. With all of these misogynistic statements about women and rape by the heads of the Republican Party, I don’t know how any woman can feel comfortable voting for a man who agrees with them.
EBONY: How would you say women and social media are revolutionizing politics in America?
RGP: Social media has been so important. This will be the [second] presidential election on Twitter and Facebook. Makes you wonder what candidates did without it.
EBONY: What would be your advice to young parents who are voting for the first time and are still on the fence with their decision?
RGP: What I’d say to any undecided voter is, vote based on policy. And pay attention!