Stepping off the Sidelines: Casting my first vote this November

Why not vote sooner?

Well, the answer is both frustrating and complex. While I deeply care about voting and have lived in the US for more than half my life, making the nation’s capital my home for the last 15 years, I was not allowed to vote because I was not yet an American citizen.

Commitment to Public Impact

I came to the Centre for Public Impact to lead our inclusive economies work because I believe that given its scale, resourcing, and mandate, the government is uniquely positioned to improve access to economic opportunity. Yet the government lacks the resources, legitimacy, and trust it needs to improve outcomes for all the people it serves.

Why we at CPI think government legitimacy is important

At CPI, we define government legitimacy as the relationship between government and the people it serves. When this relationship is strong, government and people can work together effectively to address problems. But, too often, we have seen this relationship weakened in America: a lack of faith in government makes it harder for government to effectively deliver results that matter to ALL people.

The consequences of government ineffectiveness in 2020

We’ve seen firsthand the dire consequences that can arise if government does not benefit from resident trust and, as a result, struggles to be effective. In 2020, this has manifested as racial injustice, COVID-19’s disproportionate impact on people of color and women, and the attacks on the electoral systems, to name a few.

What it feels like to not be able to vote when you want to

On a more human level, it’s a strange feeling to have when you live, work, and prosper somewhere, but you are not REALLY seen by the government. You never feel like you can trust the ground you stand on. You stand on the sidelines when everyone else around you is getting to choose with their best interest at heart.

Reimagining Government

My vote is a powerful step towards better representation and strengthened legitimacy. Core to CPI’s mission is supporting governments in becoming better at nurturing trusting relationships, understanding cultural and historical context, and sympathizing with those least heard perspectives. We are hopeful that supporting governments to build legitimacy will equip them to better address the urgent issues they face head-on today while laying the foundation for a better system in the long-term.

Help us build government legitimacy

The CPI team in North America is committed to strengthening the relationship between people and government. Learn more about our work and get in touch if your organization is interested in building more legitimate, effective governments.



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Kevval A. Hanna

Kevval A. Hanna

I’m a firm believer in the collaborative of power of the private, public and social sectors to drive meaningful change in the world.