Empowering Voters. Defending Democracy.

President’s Report

Dare Thompson, darethompson@gmail.com

I’m writing this at the State Fair – at the League’s voter registration corner in the Art and Home Center. I’m surrounded by flyers, forms, stickers, and buttons that Laura and Jen set up earlier, and there’s a big list of League
people from all over who’ve signed up for shifts during the next twelve days. Thanks to all of you on that list! (18
year old registering to vote in photo on right).

I know that even if you don’t register voters here you may well have been doing it somewhere else, so thanks for that too. Of course, the even more challenging job will come with candidate events and get out the vote (GOTV) efforts this fall.

And that’s got me thinking. With white people no longer the majority of Americans, what are we really doing to make sure we’re serving all voters effectively? We know that we’re more comfortable with America’s changing demographics than many groups and in fact welcome the cultural diversity, but are we stretching ourselves out of our comfort zone to embrace this new reality?

As if reading my mind ErinLeigh Darnley (Syracuse LWV) came by the table a couple hours ago and mentioned that besides working at the League’s state fair table later this week, she’s also working at the NAACP’s voter registration table. I asked how much they did together and she said there’s an “Onondaga Votes” organization with lots of groups working together to get everyone voting. Could we all do something like this where we live? And what would the work entail? Candidate events too, I hope.

ErinLeigh had her husband and three kids with her and had to keep moving or I’d tell you more about the groups
(many of which are non-white) and what else they do, but we can all start to imagine. Wouldn’t this naturally lead to doing other events together – say, around issues? Ultimately might the League start to look like America?

next month. Being relevant in the 21st century clearly means being diverse, and I think we all know we are capable of more. We have so much to learn from one another! Let’s get to it.

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