Reports suggest that Californians are already voting in record numbers. But it’s been a long and sometimes confusing path to Election Day November 3, and communities of color in particular are facing a range of barriers when it comes to casting their ballots—including rampant misinformation, concerns about health and safety, and more.
Getting out good and reliable information and ensuring that people of color can vote freely and confidently is a key focus for a wide range of people and groups across the state.
The Haas, Jr. Fund is honored to be a part of this work. In conversations early this year with California Secretary of State Alex Padilla and nonprofit leaders, we agreed to help address some of the challenges that might depress voting in low-income communities of color in 2020. Since then, we have provided a range of grants to help Black, Latino, and Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) groups across the state research and develop persuasive messages to use in their digital get-out-the-vote efforts.
For example, we supported a partnership between Common Cause of California and the Center for Social Innovation at UC Riverside to conduct a series of focus groups with Latino and AAPI adults to gauge the best messages for increasing turnout in those communities. In addition, we supported a parallel polling effort to better understand Black voters’ attitudes toward voting in this election. One result was a campaign urging mail-in voting among Black voters emphasizing the theme, “Stay Safe. Skip the Lines.”
Every election is important. But the stakes are higher than normal this year as California and the nation continue to reel from the Covid-19 crisis and the need for action to address racial injustice, among many other issues. By investing in boosting voting and civic participation in communities of color, we can make sure that their concerns are heard at all levels—and that government represents the interests of all people.
If you haven’t already done it, please vote. https://www.sos.ca.gov