For the unemployed, the working poor, immigrants putting in long hours, families struggling to get by on one small salary, voting in the upcoming election may seem like the last thing to be worried about.
But a newly-formed group made up of advocacy organizations on both sides of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge know that voting is power, and that voices, united, have a better chance of making a difference in public policy decisions.
Members of the nascent Verrazano Civic Engagement Table gathered Tuesday on the steps of Borough Hall, St. George, to announce a voter registration drive that seeks to registered 2,100 new voters by Oct. 12.
The Brooklyn-Staten Island coalition with the platform “respect, dignity and opportunity, counts among its member organizations, Make the Road New York, Project Hospitality, the Arab-American Association of New York, El Centro del Inmigrante, St Philip’s Baptist Church, Mt. Sinai Center for Community Enrichment and the Staten Island Clergy Leadership.
“We are organizing around a shared platform of values of respect, dignity and opportunity, which get at the shared challenges that our communities face when it comes to immigration reform, respect for families, and supporting a minimum wage that gives people the chance to work with dignity,” said the Rev. Agnes McBeth, of St. Philip’s Baptist Church, Port Richmond. “Many of our needs are the same, our goals are in common, are hopes and goals are the same. It made sense for us to join forces.”
The Verrazano Civic Engagement Table will hold a candidates forum Oct. 6 on the Island and another Oct. 11 in Brooklyn, where politicians in local races will be invited to attend. Details about the events will be announced soon.
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