<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>DUSA's canvassing team was at The Barclay's Center conducting voter registration during Dominican-Heritage Night while also being recognized for our work in civic engagement and voter registration! Register and vote, It's your right & privilege! 🙌🏾👏🏽🏀 <a href=”https://t.co/UnIeVywkXs”>pic.twitter.com/UnIeVywkXs</a></p>— Dominicanos USA (@YoSoyDUSA) <a href=”https://twitter.com/YoSoyDUSA/status/955535844131172357?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>January 22, 2018</a></blockquote>
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Unfortunately, New York has been suffering with very poor voting laws and has fallen behind other states in terms of voting reform. However, we are one step closer of that being a thing of the past! On January 14th, a series of bills were passed by the New York State Legislature that would make voting easier for every New York citizen. The bills include:
- Early voting (up to 10 days before Election Day)
- Pre-registration of 16 and 17 year-olds
- Same day registration
- Same day federal and state primaries
- Portable voter registration (allows voters who move within the same state to transfer their registration and vote on Election Day at their new poll site)
- No excuse absentee voting (allows voters to request an absentee ballot without requiring that the voter state a reason)
As a result of these bills, long lines and crowding at polling sites will hopefully decrease which could help increase voter turnout.
DUSA has proudly been at the forefront along with other civic groups fighting for better voting laws in New York. Since 2015, we have gone to Albany every year to speak with New York legislators to advocate for these bills. We are excited to finally see our efforts reflected in the passing of these bills.
This a step closer to our goal in making sure that every Dominican-American, as well as every U.S. citizen, can freely exercise their right to vote. Nevertheless, there is still much work to be done.
Join us in continuing the fight for voter reform! It is because of you that we are able to do what we do, donate here: https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/dominicanos-usa-1
Make sure to follow us on Instagram and Twitter @yosoydusa. And like us on Facebook, just search Dominicanos USA!
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NOVEMBER 7 GENERAL ELECTIONS WERE CRITICAL FOR DOMINICAN AND LATINO COMMUNITIES
Dominicanos USA has always aimed to engage and empower the Dominican community. In fact, we have been able to register 150,000 people to vote since 2015. This past week we made sure to remind as many people as possible to go out and vote in the 2017 general elections in NYC and other areas. This election season Dominicanos USA sent out 55,000 texts and made 4,500 calls to ensure our people exercise their right to vote. We believe that through voting we can impact our community in a powerful way.
Motivating the community to participate in these local and state elections has allowed our fellow Dominican and Latino politicians to represent us in throughout the U.S., including the first Latinas ever elected as state representatives in Virginia. Electing these Latino officials has greatly contributed to the empowerment of our community and our influence in the American political system. We plan on continuing to encourage our community to keep voting, and therefore make sure our voices are heard.
On July 19th, Dominicanos USA’s Young Voices went on a trip to the Dominican Studies Institute. As an organization, this trip was important for us to introduce our teens to academia because the earlier they are exposed to these institutions, the better their chances are to obtain upward mobility. Most of our teens are of Dominican descent, thus the trip to DSI was vital to the development and empowerment of the teens. We hope our teens felt empowered to make a difference and attend college in the near future. It’s important for our teens to know their New York history as Dominicans but also to make the connection to the island of Dominican Republic. Bridging this gap can encourage people to build coalitions between the different generations of Dominicans and Dominican-Americans. Field trips and experiences like this represent DUSA’s efforts to find and develop the next generation of leaders in and out of the Dominican-American community. With 868,173 Dominicans settled in New York, we believe the future of Dominicans is in this city. Special thanks to archivist Sarah Aponte and director Anthony Stevens-Acevedo and the whole Dominican Studies Institute at City College.
The youth represents the future of our country in many ways. Teens from all walks of life are growing in population in general thus, our outreach is not limited to just Dominicans but also all Latinos who eligible. Some of the teens went through an interview screening and we selected the few we think can be mentees to some of our staff. Specifically, the teens will gain experience working closely with one of our staff members learning about data entry, graphic design, and phone banking. In general, the canvassers get a chance to speak to the community and gain experience on the issues affecting their community. Over the course of six weeks, we predict our young voices to register over 1,000 new voters. As we move into the upcoming elections, our initiative helps the political power we have as Dominicans and Latinos in general.