|For immediate release
March 13, 2012
|Contact: Hoi Yung Poon
Phone: (415) 235-5249
Voter Outreach Effort Launched
(March 13, 2012) SAN JOSE, CA – Diverse groups in Santa Clara County collaborate to launch "My Vote Our Future" with one message for the June 2012 elections: Your Vote Matters!
With two elections scheduled for 2012 and a host of issues ranging from state parks, social services and education slated for cuts, a ground-breaking coalition of community-based organizations team with the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters to awaken and inform underrepresented groups as to their stake in the state’s upcoming June 5 primary election.
A social media-optimized website, http://myvoteourfuture.org reinforces and helps spread the message with videos and multilingual materials and bolstered by numerous on-the-ground voter registration and education efforts. A viral video marks the launch and several more are planned to follow.
Leading the effort are the parent education activist group Parents for Great Education, regional community college De Anza College and the County Registrar. The coalition hopes to boost voter participation among traditionally low-turnout groups, such as new citizens, low-income communities, 18 to 24 year-olds and parents.
"It is a pleasure to partner with all groups as they register and educate voters about the electoral process, because voting is the cornerstone of democracy," says Barry Garner, Registrar of Voters, Santa Clara County.
Additional partners include the Santa Clara County Office of Education, Services, Immigrant Rights and Education Network (SIREN), Asian Law Alliance, Catholic Charities of Santa Clara and Working Partnership. Media partners such as KTSF, Univision and AOL/Patch are working together in an unprecedented way.
"We must also do all we can to ensure the election process is as accessible as possible," says Santa Clara Supervisor Ken Yeager, who spearheaded the creation of the program. "Since traditional outreach programs are not effective for all residents, this program is trying new tactics to motivate potential voters."
Says Cynthia Kaufman, Director of the De Anza College Institute for Community and Civic Engagement, "It’s so exciting to be part of a project that is helping people from communities that have had little voice in our society step up and vote, and let them know their voices will make a difference for our country, state and local communities."
The Santa Clara County Board of Education on March 7 adopted a resolution endorsing the My Vote Our Future project. The resolution encourages local school districts to develop their own outreach activities, such as holding voter registration drives and special events to deliver the message of how voting could impact local schools; encourages high school students to coordinate activities to register eligible students and parents; and encourages teachers to conduct appropriate lessons related to voting, so that elementary and middle school students can encourage their parents to engage in the upcoming elections.
Parents for Great Education and De Anza College Institute of Community and Engagement will empower nine student leaders who will use social media tools, direct outreach and other strategies to reach to voters ages 18-25 and the parent communities.
"We want to ensure that the people California will have their voices heard," said Hoi Yung Poon, Campaign Director for De Anza College My Vote Our Future and the Executive Director of Parents for Great Education. "This year, we have two golden opportunities to exercise our rights and responsibilities, speak up for our children, and elect candidates who share our values."
Date last updated: March 13, 2012