National Voter Registration Day events were held throughout Fairfield County and nationwide to encourage residents to register to vote. Fairfield County’s Community Foundation’s(FCCF) 18 GET OUT THE VOTE grantees got creative in their approach to energize and educate the community to vote by holding a host of activities.
A breakfast held at the YWCA Darien/Norwalk started this exciting day! A teaching assistant at the YWCA, Jennifer Skarupa, was the first in line to register to vote. This will be the first time this 50-year-old has ever registered to vote! When asked why she is registered today, she replied, "I feel that it is a choice now to show my daughter that we have a voice." Ms. Skarupa lives in Norwalk, CT.
GET OUT THE VOTEis a new civic engagement grants program for FCCF, launched this past summer. It is an innovative nonpartisan initiative designed to fund efforts to increase voter registration and information access for all Fairfield County residents, particularly those who are historically disenfranchised. The new initiative’s theme delivers the message loud and clear: “Use Your Voice. Register. Vote.”
"It's important to help people understand how important their voice is," said Juanita James, President and CEO, Fairfield County’s Community Foundation. She continued, "So many people think 'It doesn't matter,' but they need to understand their vote counts!"
In addition to providing $1,000 grants to 18 local nonprofits for the GET OUT THE VOTE program, FCCF is offering an array of online resources at http://www.fccfoundation.org/vote. FCCF’s Voter Registration Toolkit provides national and statewide information as well as promotional materials in English and Spanish to encourage voter participation in the upcoming elections on November 6.
The grantees are from across Fairfield County and many serve multiple areas in the region. They include Bridgeport Child Advocacy Coalition, Bridgeport; Bridgeport Generation Now, Bridgeport; Burroughs Center, Bridgeport; CT Nonprofit Alliance, which is countywide and partners with 62 nonprofit organizations; Domus, based in Stamford; FaithActs, Bridgeport; Habitat for Humanity of Coastal Fairfield County, based in Stratford serving Fairfield County; Housatonic Community College, Bridgeport with students from across the state; League of Women Voters Bridgeport, serving Bridgeport, Trumbull, Stratford, Shelton and Monroe; League of Women Voters Northern Fairfield County, serving Danbury, Bethel, Brookfield, New Fairfield, Newtown and Sherman; League of Women Voters Norwalk, Norwalk; League of Women Voters Stamford, serving Stamford and Norwalk; Make The Road CT, Bridgeport; NAACP Norwalk, Norwalk; National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc., based in Bridgeport; Norwalk Community College, based in Norwalk with students from across the state; YWCA Darien/Norwalk, based in Darien; and YWCA Greenwich, Greenwich.