Hey, we can use your help and maybe we can help each other.
Let me explain.
The message from our workshop on the upcoming election and the black, Latino and immigrant communities is that folks need to get to the polls, that there are drives underway to get them there, and that folks need to know the issues that politicians are standing behind.
So, if you doing any reporting on efforts to turn out the voters, or talking about what matters to ethnic communities, please pass it along. We want to promote and share the work taking place here.
What would I be reporting on, for example?
We know, for example, that turnout in Latino wards is low and far lower than the community’s strength.
So I would go ward by ward in Chicago’s Latino communities to see who is turning out the voters, to listen to what folks say is on their mind, and to point out the turnout of the last election. As WBEZ did today, I would ask aldermen how they stand on basic issues. It’s not a lot of work. But it matters.
But that’s not the model just for Latino wards. I would definitely do the same for the wards made up of Chicago’s black and immigrant communities. If your hands are full, you can seek op-eds from community groups. You can produce editorials about what matters to your community and why the failure to vote is a failure to care.
I would start planning today for what you are going to do the day after Election Day. You’ll need to see what the turnout was and what groups produced what. What did the alderman, city council members, state legislators, US Reps. promise and why does that matter to your communities.
The Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIR) churned up its voter registration effort. Did they make a difference? Talk to the folks from ICIR What did they learn from this election?
In the last few weeks there was a flood of new voters registering in Chicago. You might remind folks that they need to make sure they are registered. Here’s a link from the Chicago Board of Elections;
So, talk to us about what you are doing, and we’ll pass it along.