Christopher Copacia votes with people from underprivileged countries in mind. Photo provided by Christopher Copacia
Christopher Copacia votes with people from underprivileged countries in mind.

Michigan resident Christopher Copacia believes voting for those in countries that need the most help.

BERKLEY—Berkley resident Christopher Copacia sees the world through the eyes of his rich culture and heritage. He looks to his ethnic background from his father’s side: Argentinian and Romanian-American. 

“I was able to get to know my great grandmother during the first 11 years of my life,” he said. She was born in Rosario de Santa Fe, but her and her husband were truly culturally Romanian. We’ve maintained some of their traditions on the holidays predominantly. This is definitely the background that I identify with most due to my deeper exposure to the traditions and history there.”

On his mother’s side, his mother was born of a Polish immigrant family and her father’s family didn’t have a clear ethnic lineage. 

“We still include traditional Polish food on holidays as well,” Copacia said. 

Copacia, who cherishes his identity, votes in favor of more positive outcomes regarding those whose identities and livelihoods are persecuted.

“People struggling or without advantages here in the USA, and the people of all nations that [have] the greatest potential to be affected by this nation’s actions, militarily or economically.  

The more and more I think about it, this election will mean the difference between an even darker and faster downward spiral for the world’s most vulnerable populations and a regrouping to reign in the problems and hold our allies and adversaries accountable,” Copacia said. “The hands-off approach and lack of leadership on a global level from our nation is leading to some additional atrocious actions by other nations with dire consequences.”

Voting to Benefit Others Locally and Abroad

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When Copacia says that he thinks of the people of Yemen who bear the brunt of those consequences “where our presidents have struck their nation with drones, destroying their homes and villages.” 

“I think of Detroiters who have been overassessed on their property value and as a result have faced tax foreclosure, removing what may have been their only source of cross-generational wealth,” he added. “I also think of neighbors in my community that may have mobility challenges and financial challenges that may not be able live life to the fullest because of our lack of convenient transportation options for them to get to places.”

Copacia said that voting has such a “massive effect” on people without wealth or a foundation to build upon. 

“I have felt the ripple effect of others not voting, most strongly when I began taking public transportation from my community to Detroit and recognizing how difficult it is for some folks to even get from point A to point B in this region,” Copacia said. “The lack of voting in favor of improving that aspect of our region has undoubtedly worsened the lives of hundreds of thousands of people who can’t afford automobiles, the insurance and maintenance costs that come with them.”

Copacia, who volunteered with asylum seekers, also sees the impact of the last presidential election, which he described as “massive” with the increases in costs to apply for asylum and the clear and steady decrease in refugees granted year over year since the 2016 election. 

Voting: It Counts Every time

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“To anyone who suggests that their vote doesn’t count, you need look no further than how the election of the president of the United States can directly affect whether children and people are able to escape the devastation of war, the threat of unjust imprisonment, starvation and/or modern slavery simply because one president is elected,” Copacia said. “We as voters directly vote whether or not that happens.”

He said that while voting doesn’t guarantee that everything will improve, it does at least push forth support for ideas and people that can make things better locally, nationally and globally. 

“It’s simply something that we as the funders and ultimate deciders of those acting on our behalf have a responsibility to participate in if we desire a better world and life for everyone,” he said.

READ MORE: ‘I Vote For my Ancestors.’ This Michigan Woman Tells Us How She Carries the Torch