As the nation gets ready to celebrate Independence Day, a voter registration drive is getting under way today to get immigrants registered and remind New Yorkers of their patriotic duty to be ready to vote.
Denisse Giron, voter registration fellow with the Long Island Civic Engagement Table, is one of those who will be knocking on doors from now until October in hopes of registering 3,000 new voters on Long Island.
“The registration itself takes less than a minute,” she said. “It’s only one page; we’re all together celebrating our country and so we should register; it’s the patriotic thing to do.”
The effort, which is being coordinated by the Long Island Civic Engagement Table, aims to register new working-class and immigrant voters so that they can engage in the fall elections on key issues such as comprehensive immigration reform and protecting vital local services.
Similar efforts registered 5,000 new voters on Long Island last year, but Ana Chireno, Long Island organizer with Make the Road New York, noted that that was a presidential election. Organizers expect to register a comparable number this year, when the stakes may be higher for many Long Island voters, especially those from immigrant communities.
“When it comes to things that are important to families, things like vital services and local schools, policing; all of those things really happen on the local level,” Chireno said. “For Long Island it’s important, because actually we are re-electing our entire Legislature.
” Joining in the voter drive are dozens of local organizations including 1199SEIU, the local NAACP, Planned Parenthood and the Health and Welfare Council of Long Island. Organizers are holding a news conference at noon today to discuss the voter-registration drive. It will be at the Nassau County Executive and Legislative Building, 1550 Franklin Ave, Mineola.
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