NEW YORK, August 10, 2016–The Doe Fund, with support from the Board of Elections, hosted Bushwick Votes! on August 9 at the Peter Jay Sharp Center for Opportunity in Bushwick. The voter registration event and BBQ encouraged all community members to register to vote, with special emphasis placed on the formerly incarcerated and those historically disenfranchised from the voting process, including low-wage earners and people of color.
The event drew more than 150 guests who registered to vote, enjoyed delicious BBQ prepared by The Doe Fund’s Culinary Arts team using generous food donations the Bushwick Food Coop and Foster Sundry, and met several elected officials –including New York Senator Martin Dilan, Assemblymember Maritza Davila, and District Leader Tommy Torres.
“Those with the most at stake–those with histories of incarceration, homelessness, and poverty–are often the least heard,” said George McDonald, Founder and President of The Doe Fund. “Engaging in the electoral process is one of the most powerful actions we can take as citizens. Voting says, ‘I care about my community.’ It says, ‘I have a stake in this country’s future.’ It says, ‘I have a voice.’ Registering to vote is a critical first step in that process, but it doesn’t stop there. It is up to every one of us to be vigilant in ensuring that our voting system allows all voices to be heard.”
Bushwick Votes! Took place at The Doe Fund’s Peter Jay Sharp Center for Opportunity, home to hundreds of trainees in the Ready, Willing & Able transitional work program.
“This was the first time many of the men in our Ready, Willing & Able program registered to vote,” said Nazerine Griffin, Program Director at The Doe Fund’s Peter Jay Sharp Center for Opportunity. “We encourage them to be active participants in civic life, because they are a part of this community and they have an important role to play in American society.”