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voter & civic engagement initiative

ClassACT's Voter & Civic Engagement Initiative reflects a widely held concern among our classmates that the lack of civics education in our country, low voter turnout and uneven access to the polls pose a threat to our democracy and the right of all citizens to exercise their constitutional right to vote.

The Initiative is a broad, non-partisan  multi-faceted campaign about the importance of voting, and issues surrounding that Democratic right, with a 2020 focus on voter registration, education and getting people, especially youth, to the polls on Election Day November 3rd.  This kicks off a multi-year effort to develop and support civics education activities.

The initiative will add support to JusticeAid, a ClassACT multi-year sustained collaboration. JusticeAid’s 2020 theme is Voter Suppression & Voter Empowerment, and the 2020 beneficiary is Election Protection (866OURVOTE.org), a non-partisan, non-profit organization that mobilizes a national network of 200 voting rights organizations to ensure every voter’s voice is heard.

There are multiple opportunities to be involved:

LEADING UP TO ELECTION 2020

*Contact Therese Steiner for more information!

1. Call to ClassACTion: Turn Out the Vote

September 24th, 7:00 - 8:15pm EDT

Register here


Join us for a different kind of ClassACT Forum.  Many of us are struggling to figure out what we as individuals can do to promote a fair and safe election process. We have enlisted a team from the 501(c)(3) Open Progress/Vote.org initiative to train us, as the "ClassACT Text Troop," to mobilize Vote by Mail! and potential voter registration efforts. Those who have done the training and who are already using this platform say it is effective and fun—and easy! If you know how to text, you can do it. We will start off with a short screening of a few JusticeAid Prize award winning entries of the Democracy 2020 Youth Film Festival, and a call to action from youth 15-25 to vote.  


2. Make a plan to vote, vote, and reach out to your family and friends to vote

  • Go to Election Protection 866ourvote.org, and check your state to confirm you are registered to vote, vote by mail options, and see if your polling place has changed.


3. Volunteer & Make A Difference - two opportunities with Election Protection 

ClassACT's Voter & Civic Engagement Initiative is recruiting lawyers and other legal personnel to advise voters during this election cycle. We have launched this effort on behalf of the Election Protection unit of the Lawyer's Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

Election Protection is the 2020 beneficiary of JusticeAid, a sustained collaboration of ClassACT.

We are looking for lawyers (practicing or retired) to staff EP’s hotlines and counsel voters who need advice on registering and voting issues. Law students and paralegals can also serve.

The need is urgent and September 22—National Voter Registration Day is a great opportunity to jump in; this is one of ClassACT’s key initiatives this year. The link for signing up is https://electionprotection.wetheaction.org.

  • Volunteer as a Poll Monitor here
  • If you have legal training, volunteer to answer voting rights, policy questions and field calls related to Voter Suppression. Contact classmate Ryan O’Connell for information.


4. JusticeAid Film Forum


  • Join JusticeAid and the winners of the JusticeAid Prize of Civic Life Project’s Democracy 2020 Youth Film Challenge at the JusticeAid Film Forum on September 17the at 7pm. Awards will be given for mini-documentaries on social justice issues, and social media entries with a call to action to vote, which will be live streamed on Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube.
  • #WhyIVote is a cross-platform social media campaign consisting of short videos in which youth (and adults) express the importance of voting on Instagram, Twitter, Tik Tok, Facebook and will be shared by ClassACT, JusticeAid, Election Protection, the Civic Life Project, and YOU! It’s easy to participate! Record a 15 second “Why I Vote” video on your smartphone, and post on your social media. Include hashtag #WhyIVote, and tag @ClassACTHR73 and @JusticeAid_ on Twitter!

LONG TERM

The Voter & Civic Engagement Initiative: Gerrymandering


  • In the planning and development stage and set to launch after the November 3rd election, ClassACT’s Voter & Civic Engagement initiative will shine a light on the issues and challenges of gerrymandering.

3. Send us an email at voterinfo@classacthr73.org and we will follow up with you!

JUSTICEAID, A CLASSACT SUSTAINED COLLABORATION     

The theme of JusticeAids work in 2020 is Voter Suppression, Voter Engagement and Voter Rights.  JusticeAid’s 2020 beneficiary Election Protection of Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights under Law, the nation’s largest nonpartisan voter protection coalition formed to ensure that all voters have an equal opportunity to participate in the political process. Made up of more than 200 local, state, and national voting rights advocacy partners, Election Protection works year-round to provide information and assistance to voters on a range of issues, from those that arise during voter registration to casting a vote at the polls.

ELECTION PROTECTION HAS:

Four Hotlines Nationwide

4

States with Field Programs

30

Volunteers: a 2020 Goal

  10,000

INTERESTED IN LEARNING MORE ABOUT THE VOTER & CIVIC ENGAGEMENT INITIATIVE?

HR'73: Link here to fill out our Voter & Civic Engagement Survey

Graduates of other Harvard Classes/Schools and Others: Link here to fill out our V&CE Short Participation form.

Do you have a question, comment, or idea? Send us an email at voterinfo@classacthr73.org and we will follow up with you!

The initiative will add support to JusticeAid, a ClassACT multi-year sustained collaboration. JusticeAid’s 2020 theme is Voter Suppression & Voter Empowerment, and the 2020 beneficiary is Election Protection (866OURVOTE.org), a non-partisan, non-profit organization that mobilizes a national network of 200 voting rights organizations to ensure every voter’s voice is heard.

ClassACT HR ‘73
Classacthr73@gmail.com

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