More than 30 advocates from a coalition of community groups and volunteers announced Thursday that they added thousands of new voters from minority communities to the rolls through months of registration drives and door-to-door canvassing.
The Long Island Civic Engagement Table launched its effort in April in Brentwood, initially seeking to register 2,500 voters, said organization coordinator Daniel Altschuler [organizer from Make the Road New York].
The initiative surpassed its goal by registering about 4,500 people who are largely from “communities of color, immigrants and low-income working families” in the towns of Islip and Brookhaven, he said. The group also registered voters through its network of supporters in other parts of Suffolk County, Nassau County and outside Long Island.
“Today is about celebration and about commitment,” Altschuler said.
The registration boost hopefully will lead to candidates for elected office paying more attention to issues those communities care about, such as increasing the minimum wage, passing state-level reform to help young undocumented immigrants afford college, and protecting programs that aid the poor, some of the drive’s members said.
Demetreus Labozetta, 20, an employee of West Islip-based nonprofit Youth Enrichment Services and a Mastic resident who was among those who registered through the initiative, said he also would support the effort as volunteers now shift their work to encouraging those new voters to cast their ballots.
“A lot of people want power and change in life,” said Labozetta, “and I feel that if you want a better life, you have to speak up. It’s not that hard to do our part.”
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