NATIONAL VOTER REGISTRATION DAY

In 2008 6 million Americans did not vote because they missed a deadline or did not know how to register.   Many initiatives are underway to make sure no one is left out in 2014.

Today, hundreds, thousands of volunteers hit the streets in a coordinated effort to increase voter registration opportunities and understanding.

A massive coalition of over 50 organizations all across the nation is leading voter registration efforts.  Partners include the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance Education Fund, Bus Federation Civic Fund, Fair Elections Legal Network, League of Women Voters, Nonprofit VOTE, Rock the Vote, and Voto Latino.

In Georgia, dozens of local organizations, especially focused on registering African-Americans,Hispanic/Latinos, women and youth are hard at work today and have been working for the past several months.  From canvasing streets and subdivisions in Gwinnett (GALEO) to hosting especial events in Dalton (Coalicion of Latino Leaders).

We still have a long way to go; Gwinnett County, with the largest minority population still struggles to get people out to vote.  Around half the population of the county is registered to vote although more than 70% is elegible.

In a nation that now has an African-American President in its second term and a Latina on the US Supreme Court, Gwinnett County seems stuck in a time warp.  All Board of Commissioners are white, the School Board is white, all judges are white and is simply not reflective of their constituents or their issues.

Minorities in Gwinnett have been hard hit by unemployment, crime, and the fallout of failing schools, which in Gwinnett serve mostly low-income African American, Asian and Hispanic students. Two-thirds of those living in poverty in Gwinnett are nonwhite.  However, there is still hope for diversity.  In 2012, Pedro “Pete” Marin was re- elected thanks to a coalition of Asian & Latino groups in a largely international district.

“He won by the largest margin than he ever had before,” Bonnie Youn, an immigration attorney with Youn Law Group said. “What Asian American and Pacific Islanders need to understand is that they can make a difference in politics.” (Quote originally published by The Atlanta Voice)

With 80,000 Latino and 600,000 African-American unregistered in Georgia, there is work to do.

Today, activities begin with a press conference in which community leaders will speak on the importance of voting at the Georgia State Capitol (10am).  Partners include:  9to5Atlanta; AFL-CIO (Georgia); Asian American Legal Advocacy Center (AALAC); Coalition for the People’s Agenda; Feminist Women’s Health Center; Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials (GALEO); Georgia Conservation Voters; Georgia Equality; Georgia Justice Project; Georgia Stand UP!; Georgia Women’s Action for New Directions (Georgia WAND); the Georgia NAACP; National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA) Atlanta Chapter; Partnership for Southern Equity (PSE); Planned Parenthood Southeast; SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW

To learn more about events in your area, CLICK HERE

 

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