Earth Day Network, NAACP National Voter Fund, Southwest Voter Registration and Education Project, and Project Vote have joined forces to build healthy communities through participatory democracy. As a new coalition representing the multiple cultures and demographics of America, the Campaign for Communities will work to unite the interests of youth and minority communities with each other and the nation as a whole.
This coalition has joined forces for the first time to mobilize voters around the community health issues that affect them every day. Our targeted communities are under-represented in the political process and consequently experiencing the worst of America's deteriorating urban infrastructure of transportation, jobs, schools, parks, air and water quality in the context of collapsing state and local budgets.
The Campaign for Communities will connect these local issues to national priorities in the 2004 elections, working with George Lakoff to develop an organizing frame that addresses the imbalance of economic and political power that is undermining the prospects and well-being of young people and minority communities. The goal of our collective voter registration and turn-out program is to strengthen this natural base of support for public investment in community health, schools, jobs, mass transit, urban greening, toxic clean-up, and other policy initiatives that would revitalize cities, promote sustainable community development and help stop the relentless destruction of sprawl and pollution.
Politicians listen to communities that vote, and if these communities make their voices heard on Election Day, their leaders can demand accountability and real policy change. The Campaign for Communities is seeking to empower young and minority voters to help resurrect a public philosophy that restores, rather than denigrates, the values of investment in public initiatives to improve the health, safety and vitality of communities.
EDN's partner organizations have established records of advocacy and engagement in our target communities and are programmatically tied to state and local Latino and African American elected officials, community leaders and organizers. This campaign also connects to the interests of college-age youth in voting for the promise of a better quality of life, rather than the current downward spiral in their prospects for the future. We will walk arm-in-arm into the offices of elected officials after November 4, 2004 to demonstrate the numbers and turn-out of voters through this partnership and the base of support for investing in the development and health of young people and minority communities.
Moreover, our new voters will be on the lists that politicians and campaign strategists target in elections and they will then get calls and mail about the candidates and initiative campaigns that will inform and involve them more in the political process in future elections. With political attention, many will become regular voters and others will climb the ladder of activism. Moreover, Southwest Voter, NAACP National Voter Fund, and Project Vote will have their names for future outreach on their community organizing and issue campaigns. In other words, these new registrants and voters will join the universe of people targeted for community and political organizing campaigns, a first step in the process of becoming more active, engaged citizens.
For more information please contact California Office at 323-343-9299 or
Patricia Gonzales at 210-922-0225