New Jersey Working Families Party partners with organizations serving underrepresented communities through the We the People democracy coalition
In the runup to a critical midterm election, the New Jersey Working Families Party, via the newly formed We the People democracy coalition, has invested $70,000 to mobilize low-propensity voters, particularly voters of color and families living in underrepresented communities
This non-partisan effort, part of a border coalition effort to create long term democracy reforms in New Jersey, is being done in concert with grassroots advocacy groups with deep ties to marginalized groups.
“Our democracy only works for everyone when every voter, regardless of their ZIP code, race or socioeconomic status, feels fully engaged in the political process,” said Sue Altman, New Jersey Working Families Party State Director. “The investments we’re making today will hopefully boost voter turnout in the short term — and in the long term help ensure that voters are confident their voice matters in our elections.”
As part of this effort, the coalition has partnered with organizations including the Latino Action Network Foundation and Make the Road New Jersey, who focus on Latino and immigrant households.
The Latino Action Network Foundation focused efforts on a New Jersey Latino Families Vote 2022 project to carry a non-partisan get out the vote message to 5,000 Latino households voting in the newly redistricted municipalities of Rahway and Linden.
At the same time, Make the Road New Jersey focused on engaging with newly naturalized citizens in five towns.
In addition to engaging voters of color, the coalition partnered with organizations that targeted youth voters attending Union County College — one of the few county colleges in the state that also serves as an early voting site — and members of the LGBT community in Mercer County via a partnership with the Bayard Rustin Center for Social Justice.
New Jersey Working Families has also entered into a unique partnership with the Ritesh Shah Charitable Pharmacy, a non-profit that serves low-income families, to connect with Asian and Latino patients in Red Bank and Freehold.
“We are excited to be pioneering new ways of engaging with voters even as we deepen partnerships with organizations that have long standing experience in voter engagement,” said Arati Kreibich, who led these efforts as the Director of Democracy Organizing for NJWFP and coordinator of the coalition. “We know that these efforts will engage a diverse group of New Jerseyans in the political process — some for the first time.”
The steering committee for We the People includes: NJ Working Families Party, League of Women Voters NJ, NJ Institute for Social Justice, New Jersey Citizen Action, New Jersey Policy Perspective, Salvation and Social Justice, Latino Action Network, Make The Road, CWA, 32BJ SEIU, BlueWave NJ, and Camden Parent Union.
A list of all of the nonpartisan pro-democracy partnerships is below:
AAPI Montclair: Get out the vote efforts for low propensity AAPI voters in Bergen and Essex counties
Camden Parent Union: Voter registration and mobilization of residents in Camden, anchored by the Camden We Choose coalition
Latino Action Network Foundation: “New Jersey Latino Families Vote 2022” project to carry a non-partisan get out the vote message to 5,000 Latino households with a low propensity for voting in newly redistricted municipalities, who tend to be ignored by outreach efforts.
Living Water Well: Youth voter mobilization at Union County College, one of the few community colleges that is also an Early Voting Site. This organization, which works with at-risk youth, will engage with the diverse student community to encourage early voting and civic engagement.
Make The Road New Jersey: Voter registration and outreach to newly naturalized American citizens and Latinos in 5 communities in NJ including Belleville, Bloomfield, Rahway, Linden and Scotch Plains
Ritesh Shah Charitable Pharmacy: Innovative partnership of public health charity and voter registration and mobilization in AAPI and Latino communities in Monmouth County
Rustin Center: Voter mobilization in low propensity LGBTQ+ supporting voters in Mercer & Hunterdon Counties. Partnership between young \volunteers new to civic engagement and by older canvassers.
New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice (NJAIJ): Know your Rights trainings for immigrant voters and NJAIJ members and training volunteers for exit polling surveys related to Election Protection on Election Day
Quotes from New Jersey Working Families’ partners follow:
“Latino Action Network has been at the forefront of Latino civic engagement for well over a decade. This cycle we were eager to knock doors and make sure folks from Latino communities vote. Far too often, low propensity, Spanish-speaking, or Hispanic folks are ignored by campaigns. Our work changes that, and to educate voters to make sure they get to the polls, and we are happy to partner with the coalition to get this important work done.” -Christian Estevez, Latino Action Network
“The global pandemic showed us how vital the links are between public health and democracy. Dissemination of information about vaccinations and life-saving medicines and voting are part of a plan that Ritesh Shah charitable pharmacy is proud to embark on- we see these two functions as intertwined. We seek to make our communities healthier and more empowered – from a physical standpoint, but also through the important act of voting and civic engagement. We are grateful for this partnership and look forward to more opportunities to empower communities in the future.” –Ritesh Shah, RPh, Chairman/Trustee, Ritesh Shah Charitable Pharmacy
“Every voter must be educated, energized, & empowered in this essential election. All of us here at Bayard Rustin Center for Social Justice HQ are proud to partner with our dear friends & stalwart allies at Working Families Party and the We the People coalition to make sure our most marginalized & oft underrepresented voices are heard at this pivotal moment in our nation’s history. So much is at stake including marriage equality and reproductive rights and so very many other issues that directly affect all of us personally & politically.” –Robt Martin Seda-Schreiber, Chief Activist, Bayard Rustin Center for Social Justice