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This article first appeared on the Democrats of Greater Tucson website.

If all vaccinated folks stopped going to businesses that do not require proof of vaccination, we would turn Covid from a political issue into an economic condition.

In Arizona, 5 million people or 68% of state residents have received at least one dose. Vaccinated folks are a majority and therefore have the economic power. The unvaccinated should not be rewarded for putting the rest of us in jeopardy and denying us our civil rights.

Having seen the news about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the struggle to guarantee national voting rights, and the interminable pandemic infestation of Covid-19, I started thinking about how I, individually could affect the outcome of any of these priority issues.

My initial reaction was, “not much.”

We vote with our presence, action, and dollars

These questions nagged me. To make my voice heard, I called and emailed my US Senators Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly to support voting rights legislation, then on social media encouraged my friends to do the same. It was not a very gratifying or organized effort.

Reflecting widespread concern about Covid, Yelp recently added filters including “Proof of vaccination required.”

I thought about how MLK strove for change and my own work over the last three decades as a union representative and a human resources manager. I reflected on the simple act of wearing a mask and being fully vaccinated to protect myself but, more importantly, those around me.

The word “vote” moved me to think of other action words such as negotiate, march, sit-in, strike, and boycott. I realized they have a commonality from an economic perspective. Each activity rewards or denies something. That led me to the fact that we vote with our presence, action, and dollars. A simple example is that I may decide to contribute money to a candidate. They can be pretty confident that I will vote for that candidate.

Elections take too much time for instant results affecting specific issues in between. That forces us to wait to realize MLK’s dream and reinvigorate the mid-1960s voting protections. It remains an ongoing struggle for however many generations yet to come.

So, what is there left to do?

Cater to the vaccinated

As my frustration grew about enacting voting protections, celebrating MLK and mitigating the virus — the idea bulb grew brighter.

We have listened to the unvaccinated protest that being forced to get the vaccine denies their civil rights. That protest is simply not supported by history, science, or the law.

I believe my civil rights are being denied because we, the vaccinated, do not know if the person next to us is or is not vaccinated. Given the vastly greater number of vaccinated people overall in the US, Arizona, and many communities, we have economic power.

Tucson’s Loft Cinema requires a proof of vaccine to see a movie. The Fox Theater requires a proof of vaccination to see a show.

Yelp has made it clear that numerous vaccinated folks care whether a business supports vaccination. It recently added two filters for “Proof of vaccination required” and “All staff fully vaccinated.” Shockingly no restaurant in Tucson requires proof of vaccination.

I have decided that if I intend to shop, dine, enjoy entertainment, I will call the business first to learn what their Covid policy is. I will call ahead every time I intend to go anywhere to spend money. If they do not require proof of vaccination or a negative test result within 48 hours, they will know in uncertain terms that I will not patronize their business. When we all do this, every business will know they would get more sales and bring in more money catering to the vaccinated.

We vaccinated have the economic power! We can do this to enjoy the fruits of our labor, life in general, and can get closer to the “normal” we knew while excluding those denying science, filling hospital beds, and spreading the virus.

Breakthrough with me! Boycott businesses that don’t require proof of vaccination.

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