|Program:||Community Outreach, Washington, D.C.|
|Contact(s):||Kristen Nokes, Project Manager: (202) 429-1965|
|Purpose:||To encourage the participation of citizens in government and increase the understanding of major public policy issues|
In October 1995, the League of Women Voters Education Fund (LWVEF) launched a massive community outreach campaign to reach diverse populations with voter education and registration projects targeted at underrepresented communities. The LWVEF believes that by forming collaborations with groups representing diverse grassroots and civic organizations, there will be an increase in civic participation of all Americans. The goal is to increase voter turnout above 85 percent of registrations in presidential elections by the year 2000.
The Community Outreach Program targets underrepresented populations, particularly focusing on youth, Native Americans and other people of color. The program has a national coalition of organizations committed to the project including the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project, the National Coalition of Black Voter Participation, the Organization of Chinese Americans and Rock the Vote. All of the members of the national coalition are organizations that work on progress for people of color. Citizens attend workshops on the electoral process and voter registration. League of Women Voters chapters around the country work in cooperation with different organizations in their communities and sponsor educational workshops that are designed to engage participants in dialogue on issues of race, the economy, immigration and crime.
Outcomes and Significant Accomplishments
In 1996, the program's efforts to increase voter registration were successful. For example, in Diablo Valley, Calif., 521 new voters were registered of which 450 voted; in Broward County, Fla., turnout increased 15-20 percent and in DeKalb County, Ga., 526 citizens were register to vote. For more information on the Community Outreach Program, refer to the Website at www.lwv.org.
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