Civic Engagement Without the Right to Vote – The Unity Council

Civic Engagement Without the Right to Vote

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There is still time for you to register to vote – do so by October 22nd! You can register very quickly and easily at www.vote.org. And remember, the election is coming up on Monday, November 6th.

BUT, WHAT IF YOU CAN’T VOTE?

We all know that not everyone in our community can vote. If you are under 18, not a citizen of the U.S., or are on parole or in prison for a felony charge, you are not eligible to vote. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have an impact! Below is a list of ways that YOU can get involved and have an impact, even if you are not eligible to vote. If you are elgible to vote, its even more important that you do so knowing that many of our neighbors and friends cannot. Vote with them in mind on election day.

Here are a few ways to get out and participate in the election process even if you can’t vote:

  • Pre-Register to Vote: If you are 16 and older you can pre-register to vote in California, and you’ll be automatically registered to vote on your 18th Here’s how to do it.
  • Become a High School Poll Worker Volunteer: Learn more and apply here.
  • Become a Bilingual Poll Worker and earn up to $205! Bilingual poll workers are needed throughout the county! You must be fluent in English and one other language, including Spanish, Khmer, Vietnamese and others. You must be a lawful Permanent Resident (Green Card Holder). Apply online HERE. Ignore the box that says you must be a registered voter in the State of California – this does not apply if you are a bilingual poll worker.
  • Volunteer for a candidate or campaign! Is there someone running for office that you really believe in? Or, is there a ballot measure that you want to support? You can volunteer for their campaign! Volunteer activities often include calling registered voters, passing out flyers in the community, going door-to-door to talk to voters, and more. You can even volunteer to do office work to keep the candidates campaign on track.
  • Volunteer to Register Other Voters: The League of Women Voters is a nonprofit group that is unaffiliated from democrats or republicans. They work throughout the nation to get more people to register to vote, and they need your help! You can volunteer with them in Oakland – click here to learn how.
  • Call Your Elected Officials: Elected officials represent you – even if you didn’t vote for them! They are elected at every level of government, from the school board to City Council, to County Supervisors, to State Senators or Assemblymembers, all the way up to the U.S. Senators, Congressional Representative, and President and Vice-President. You have a right to call, email, write a letter, send a Tweet, or post on their Facebook page and let them know what you think of the issues. The League of Women Voters has a page on their website that lists every elected representative for Oakland, from the local districts all the way up to national positions.
  • Join a Local Action for a Cause You Believe In: Whether it’s Black Lives Matter, the Women’s March, or a March for Climate Action, or the LGBTQ* Pride Parade, when people get together to march for a cause it makes an enormous impact. Politicians and elected officials do notice this, and this type of activity provides all activisits with a boost of energy needed to sustain a long-term movement for social justice. Next time you hear of a march for a cause that you believe in show your support by showing up.

Remember – if there are people in your life that can vote, make sure they are registered by Monday, October 22nd! Their vote makes a difference in your neighborhood, town, region, state, and in the entire country.