With Angelenos facing their third election since January, expectations for heavy voter turnout are dim – particularly in low-income communities where turnout is often lowest.
In an effort to increase voter turn-out, Liberty Hill Foundation, which is based in Santa Monica, has just announced its largest LibertyVote! grants ever – $135,000 to 17 groups – to assist community organizations working in low income, low turnout neighborhoods throughout L.A. County to educate and mobilize voters.
Launched last fall, LibertyVote! is modeled on a similar program in Boston that raised turnout in low-income communities 33% over four years.
“Voter fatigue is a real danger in this election,” said Kafi Blumenfield, Director of LibertyVote! “On November 8, we face a potentially tragic mismatch in which the voters most profoundly affected by the initiatives fail to come to the polls. No democrat, and I mean that in the “small d” democrat sense, can be comfortable with such an outcome. These grants are designed to make sure every stakeholder in California has a voice.”
Groups will be working in Watts, South L.A., Pico-Union, Pacoima, Koreatown, Skid Row and other communities.
Liberty Hill is one of the nation’s leading social justice foundations. Since 1976, it has given away nearly $27 million to grassroots community organizations in L.A. County.
LibertyVote! Fall 2005 Grant Awards have been made to the following groups:
Alliance of Local Leaders for Education, Registration, and Turnout, $15,000 for developing voter empowerment activities targeting 15,000-20,000 voters in primarily African-American and Latino communities in South Los Angeles.
Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, $12,500 to combine voter engagement and leadership development projects and a traditional non-partisan voter ID and GOTV program for 8,000 voters in Watts, portions of South L.A., Pico-Union, and Pacoima.
Bus Riders Union, $7,500 to build a permanent electoral education, registration, protection, and GOTV infrastructure within the BRU and to provide voter education to 20,000 voters and to register 500 new voters.
Californians for Justice Education Fund, $7,500 to launch a long-term strategy that will integrate voter education and mobilization with existing issue organizing to improve education.
Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, $7,500 to register 7,000 new voters to continue to build massive voter registration, contact, and turnout campaign, as well as participate in a state-wide campaign to reach immigrant voters.
Coalition LA, $7,500 to enhance voter engagement among low-income and working class voters in 12 precincts that have traditionally low turnout numbers.
Community Coalition for Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment, $5,000 to support voter engagement and turnout strategy for African American and Latino communities in South LA.
East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice, $7,500 to incorporate nonpartisan electoral politics as a component of ongoing campaign work to educate and increase voter turnout in Commerce and surrounding neighborhoods.
LA Voice, $5,000 to increase voting among low-propensity voters within member congregations and surrounding communities.
Korean Resource Center, $10,000 to inform and empower Korean America voters by conducting voter registration, education, mobilization, and assistance.
Los Angeles Coalition to End Hunger and Homelessness, $10,000 to increase and deepen voter education, outreach, and mobilization efforts targeting very low-income and homeless people with a focus on the impacts of Special Election initiatives.
Los Angeles Community Action Network, $10,000 to support electoral engagement work with 5,000 homeless and very low-income residents in the Skid Row, downtown, and Central City East Communities conducted through street outreach.
Pacoima Beautiful, $5,000 to educate Northeast San Fernando community residents and Pacoima Beautiful leadership on how to make major system changes by using voting rights.
Parents Organized for Westside Renewal, $5,000 to register over 500 voters and educate over 10,000 African American and Latino low-income residents of Santa Monica, Venice, Culver City, and Mar Vista via direct mailings, meetings, and education forums.
Ex Offenders Action Network, $5,000 to engage in voter education and registration activities for 3,000 formerly incarcerated adults in South Central L.A.
Union de Vecinos, $10,000 to support voter education, leadership development, voter contacts, voter protection for 30,000 residents of East L.A./ Boyle Heights.Youth Justice Coalition, $5,000 to support part three of “Smash the Vote,” an effort to register, educate, and mobilize current detainees, ages 18 to 24, of L.A. County juvenile halls, CYA sites, county jails, and probation camps.