Local advocates for voting rights say the thousands of new voters they’ve been able to register in the latest drive are just part of the story – because these newest voters have specific demands.
While there was a show of force on Long Island on Tuesday to announce the success of the voter registration drive, Diane Goings, president of New York Communities for Change, said the real force is looking ahead, because the 9,000 new voters want to see some action from lawmakers – in New York and the nation.
“They are going to be educated voters,” she said. “They want affordable housing, jobs, jobs, jobs, and to stay in their homes – there are a lot of foreclosures here. So, these are the issues that we’re dealing with in our community.”
National Voter Registration Day was celebrated on Tuesday in front of the Nassau County legislative offices by local immigrant groups, people of color and their supporters.
Goings said this drive goes beyond just a single, national day to focus on the importance of voter registration. Her group, like many across the nation, is determined to reach people who either have not bothered to vote or have not had the chance.
“Because we go in areas where nobody else is going and we’re targeting people that nobody seems to care about, and to want to give a voice to,” she said. “That’s why our numbers are really growing. Voting is a power, it’s a privilege, it’s an honor.”
“Vote for Respect” was one of the main themes of National Voter Registration Day, supported by a variety of local groups including the NAACP, Long Island Civic Engagement Table and “Make the Road New York.”
To listen to the broadcast, click here.