Today, as families across the nation gather to watch the results of an election that will define the future of immigration reform in our country, hundreds of Make the Road New York members will be finishing their last phone calls and door-knocks to mobilize thousands of immigrant and African American voters to the polls. And each one these voters is casting their votes to send a clear message to elected officials: We elect you to fight for Respect and Dignity for immigrant families, workers and LGBTQ New Yorkers.
Tonight we will be celebrating the amazing efforts of our members to make sure that our communities can look towards the future with hope.
Five months ago we launched the Campaign for Respect and Dignity, a coordinated organizing and voter registration effort to build the electoral muscle of Latino and African American communities.
And we did it: We registered 11,642 new voters of color across Long Island, Staten Island, Queens and Brooklyn, and contacted almost 20,000 voters to turn them out to vote.
And our efforts reached beyond New York State. Working with our allies, the Center for Popular Democracy and Casa de Maryland, we were able to register over 7,000 Latino and African American voters in Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania.
Behind each one of these newly registered voters there are stories of those who registered them. People like Antonio, an undocumented youth from Queens, who can’t vote but chose to spend afternoons and weekends all summer talking to young people who can. Or Isabel, a new US citizen from Staten Island, who will be voting for the first time today. [Read her Spanish op-ed in today’s El Diario.] Or African-American civil rights veterans like Ken Sinkler from Long Island, who is fighting to imbue the spirit of civic participation in the next generation. [Read his English op-ed in today’s Newsday.]
Many of the communities hardest hit by Hurricane Sandy were the very same communities where we had been working for months fighting against the devastation of political disenfranchisement. So as the hurricane hit, we redoubled our efforts, sending volunteers door-to-door to deliver supplies, offer rides to the polls, and remind people to vote. Because, as Ken so beautifully said, “Some of us may not have power. We may not have our cars, our houses, and, in the most tragic cases, our loved ones. But we still have our proud, beautiful voices. And today we must make them heard. Today we vote.”
Help us celebrate the resilience and power of our communities by joining them at the polls today!
Here is the most critical information for Election Day:
- The polls are open until 9:00pm. If you find a poll site not open at any point during this period, please call the number below.
- Find your polling site in NY [bit.ly/NYVote116] or NJ [bit.ly/NJVote116]. Or text WHERE to 877877.
- If you have trouble at your poll site, just call (347) 921-4636. Our Election Day effort includes providing legal support to people with problems at the polls to make sure that every vote counts!
So now, if you haven’t done it already, go out and vote!