Essex County Courthouse

Why This Is Awesome: With one of the most important elections in my country only one week away (although I think we should consider all elections equally important), I’m reminded of this great shot I captured this past July in downtown Newark. That statuesque building you see there is the Essex County Courthouse, and it is a substantial piece of architecture inside and out.

I had the pleasure (sort of) to see the interior of the courthouse last January while I was serving jury duty, and at the time, I didn’t really pay much attention to the exterior. I had never really approached the courthouse from the front, and when I had, I was usually driving. But on this particular day, I happened to be walking to a nearby bank and really saw this facade for the first time.

Before I go too deep in my art-gazing, I want to say that I decided to share this image this week not simply because the building is in its own way a work of art, but because I want it to serve as a reminder to all of those who plan to sit out this election cycle.

Don’t worry. I won’t guilt trip you. I won’t harass you. I won’t tell you things you’ve heard 100 times before.

But what I will say is that every election plays a role in what laws will affect our lives. From the local magistrate to the federal Supreme Court. Whether it’s doled out in a county courthouse or in an appellate court, all the things that you may despise about the society that surrounds you often exists for one of two reasons: 1) It’s legal, or 2) It’s illegal, but not enforced.

If you want people who seek to destroy all that you find worth fighting for in the world to be held accountable, it starts with changing the laws and enforcing them. And you can’t change or enforce them if you don’t vote for people who will propose, support, and execute those laws you wish to see passed or upheld.

Government change starts with voting. It doesn’t end there. But it definitely starts there.

I now return you to your regularly scheduled art appreciation commentary.