31 May Building People Power in 2016 and Beyond
We’re in the midst of a presidential election year, as if we could forget! Every member of the House of Representatives and 34 members of the Senate will be up for election. Numerous local matters will also be on ballots. At 9to5, we know that every election is important and this is no exception.
For 9to5, voter engagement goes much deeper than drumming up fervor for a particular candidate. As Kim Schofield, a Georgia Board Member, explained, “Voting is not an option, it’s a lifestyle. We have a responsibility to model civic duties to our children. In the neighborhoods we’re working in, there’s hesitancy to vote because people don’t think their voice matters. 9to5 is here to change that.”
By focusing on working women and the formerly incarcerated (some of whom don’t know they can vote), 9to5 works to ensure that traditionally disenfranchised voters get a fair shot. Wisconsin member Shantel Carson stepped up with 9to5’s paid Community Internship Program (CIP). She said, “I’ve been learning the skills I need to launch and win campaigns for justice in the workplace. Engaging with voters is an important piece of the larger puzzle.”
“As we pound the pavement and engage with our neighbors about the issues that matter, our feet will hurt and our voices may get hoarse,” Executive Director Linda Meric, a veteran of economic and social justice movements, acknowledges. “Know that you have a committed team behind you every step. Drink water, take deep breaths, and remember we’re all in this together.”