New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC) has awarded a $10,000 grant to Open Buffalo to assist with REMAP NYS 2020, a state-wide initiative to provide new voter education, voter registration access, and Get Out the Vote messaging.
The grant award will support several activities to be conducted by Open Buffalo, including pop-up tabling, phone and text banking, direct mailers, social media advertising, and training workshops about the civic process and why every vote counts. All efforts are non-partisan and will be geared to underserved populations such as new citizens, youth, and people of color.
“We are proud to support our members at a time when our democracy continues to be challenged by the pandemic and a lacking system. When campaigns and candidates overlook immigrant voters, we know community organizations like Open Buffalo will be doing the much-needed work to get voters to the polls,” said Wennie Chin, Senior Manager of Civic Engagement with NYIC. “The pandemic and protests highlight the importance of community power and NYIC will continue to invest our resources to ensure immigrants and other underrepresented voices can fully participate in the decision-making that impacts their lives every day” Chin added.
Open Buffalo has also recently acquired access to Rock the Vote, an online platform to facilitate voter registration. Through its web site and 716 Votes! campaign page at www.openbuffalo.org, eligible U.S. Citizens can initiate the voter registration process to vote quickly and easily.
“We know that people of color and youth across the board do not vote in the numbers that they could, due in part to a lack of trust and systemic barriers. Our goal is to educate and reduce these barriers to achieve full civic participation,” said Franchelle Parker, Executive Director of Open Buffalo. “Our 716 Votes! initiative includes many partnerships and we are grateful for NYIC’s support and partnership.”
716 Votes! is an on-going civic engagement campaign that began earlier this year to increase youth voter registration and participation. The additional funding will allow Open Buffalo to expand its efforts more broadly by geography and age while maintaining a significant focus on the youth vote.
Open Buffalo is a 501(c)(3) organization with a mission to advance racial, economic, and ecological justice. It does so through skill building, network-connecting, and activating leadership opportunities. Its goal is for all communities in Western New York to thrive free from discrimination and poverty.