Community Justice Reform Coalition Peacemaker Voter’s Guide

 

YOUR VOTE

How Do I Register To Vote?

Voter registration guidelines and deadlines differ from state to state. The best source for information on voter information for any state is to visit VOTE.ORG

For additional information on state voting laws please refer to your state’s Secretary of State’s website.

OK, I am Registered… How do I find out when my elections are in my State? Should I vote early?

YES! YES! YES! You should always vote early if you can. This will prevent from you missing your opportunity to vote in the event that something happens on election day.

As they say, VOTE EARLY, VOTE OFTEN. People who vote early are more likely to make a habit out of voting. For information on early voting dates in you state check the early voting calendar.

Where Do I Vote? 

Make sure you know where to go when you vote!

How can I learn more about gun policy for communities of color like mine?

Americans of color are, on average, eight times more likely to be killed by firearms than those who are white. The rate of death by gun homicide for people of color exceeds those among whites in all 50 states, but there is tremendous variation in the magnitude of this disparity.

Twenty percent of all firearm homicides in the U.S. occur in the country’s 25 largest cities, even though they contain just over one-tenth of the U.S. population. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that of the 12,979 firearm homicides in 2015, 81 percent occurred in urban area.

Know the rates of gun violence in your area to better understand the impact on your community

Visit the CJRC Resource Library for more information on gun violence and its impact on communities of color.

 

GET INVOLVED

How Can I Make a Difference?

Become a PeacemakerThe best solutions to reducing gun violence come from the communities that are closest to the pain. Help us support, implement, and expand the most effective strategies for bringing peace to our cities by signing up for the Peacemaker Ambassador Program. Upon signing up, you will be welcomed into a community of advocates working to prevent gun violence and challenging the criminal justice system. You will be asked to complete a peacemaker action task once a week, ranging from getting woke on some reading to tweeting to showing up at an event. Change takes action, and you have the power to create change, and create peace.

Community Justice Reform Coalition (CJRC) is a 501 (c)(3) national advocacy coalition that promotes and invests in evidence-based policies and programs to prevent gun violence and uplift criminal justice reforms in urban communities of color

The IRS clearly states that 501(c)(3) organizations may voter engagement or connect with  candidates on a nonpartisan basis.

This includes encouraging voter participation, educating voters, and talking to candidates about issues. Below guidelines for CJRC Peacemakers in conducting activities during the 2018 election season.

  • As 501(c)(3) organizations, CJRC Peacemakers can:
    • Promote or conduct voter registration
    • Educate voters on the where, when, and how of voting
    • Encourage and remind people to vote
    • Encourage staff to serve on Election Day as a poll worker, translator, or other nonpartisan  volunteer
    • Distribute nonpartisan sample ballots, candidate questionnaires, or voter guides
    • Host or cosponsor a candidate forum (the forum must be open to all candidates, conducted in a balanced way, and include a nonpartisan panel of questioners)
    • Hold a voter education event
    • Educate the candidates on your issues  
    • Continue issue advocacy during an election  
    • Support or oppose ballot measures as a lobbying activity (subject to normal lobbying limits)  
    • Conduct nonpartisan training on issues and organizational skills
    • Allow staff to participate as individuals in political campaigns, on their own time and not as representatives of the organization

 

Who do I report voter oppression to?
A variety of organizations advocate for stronger voting rights for people or color. Listed below are several major national organizations that work on this issue, providing legal and other expertise as well as helping to organize campaigns state by state. The staffs and websites of these organizations provide a wealth of information and analysis about campaign finance reform on both the state and federal levels.

The Brennan Center for Justice
New York University 161 Avenue of the Americas, 12th floor
New York, New York 10013
(626) 292-8310

President: Michael Waldman

The Brennan Center is a nonpartisan law and policy institute at New York University that seeks to improve our systems of democracy and justice. Its work ranges from voting rights to campaign finance reform, from racial justice in criminal law to Constitutional protection in the fight against terrorism.

Campaign Legal Center
1411 K St. NW, Suite 1400
Washington, DC 20005
202-736-2200 (o); (202) 736-2201 (o)

President and General Counsel – Trevor Potter
Executive Director, Gerry Hebert ghebert@campaignlegalcenter.org
Policy Director, Meredith McGehee mmcgehee@campaignlegalcenter.org
Senior Counsel on State Laws – Paul Seamus Ryan pryan@campaignlegalcenter.org

The Campaign Legal Center is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that protects and strengthens our democracy in the areas of campaign finance, voting rights, political communication and government ethics.

Common Cause
1133 19th Street NW, 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 833-1200

President: Karen Hobert Flynn 
Vice President for State Operations: Jenny Rose Flanagan 
National Grassroots Organizer: Isabella Bronstein

Common Cause is a nonpartisan citizens advocacy group that is fighting to insure that every adult American has easy access to the ballot and that every vote is counted as cast. It works to strengthen laws that protect voting rights, make voting systems secure, reliable and verifiable, and ensure that every voter has an equal say in elections. It has staff and chapters in 35 states and members in all 50 states. The Common Cause website has a map that you click on to see if there is a chapter near you.

Demos
220 Fifth Ave,. 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10001
(212) 633-1405

Heather McGee, President

Demos means “the People.” It is a public policy organization working for an America where we all have an equal say in our democracy and an equal chance in our economy. It has nine specialist and experts working on Voting Rights and Voter Registration.

Fair Vote
6930 Carroll Avenue, Suite 610
Takoma Park, Maryland

Executive Director: Rob Richie, RR@FairVote.org
Development Director: Cynthia Terrell, CT@FairVote.org

FairVote seeks to make representative democracy fair, functional, and representative by developing the analysis and educational tools necessary for its reform partners to secure and sustain improvements to American elections. Operating since 1992, FairVotes is a non-profit, non-partisan organization with a history of working with scholars, civic leaders, policymakers, and journalists from across the spectrum.

League of Women Voters
1730 M Street NW, Suite 1000
Washington, DC 200036-4508
(202) 429-1965

President: Elisabeth MacNamara
Chief Operating Officer: Anisa Tootia
Executive Director: Wylecia Wiggs Harris, wharris@lwv.org
Senior Director, Elections/E-Democracy: Jeanette Senecal, Senior Director, jsenecal@lwv.org
Program Manager, Elections/E-Democracy: Maggie Bush, Program manager, mbush@lwv.org
Senior Director, Field Support/Membership: Cheryl Graeve, cgraeve@lwv.org
Senior Director, Communications: Kelly Cebalos, kebalos@lwv.org (202) 263-1331

The League of Women Voters is committed to making democracy work for voters through programs of promoting voter registration, working to reduce the influence of large-donor money in political campaigns, and seeking to reform political gerrymandering that favors one party over the other or protects incumbent office holders. It has combined forces with Common Cause and other organizations in organizing voter referendums and filing lawsuits.

Rock the Vote
1875 Connecticut Avenue NW, 10th Floor
Washington, DC 2009
(202) 719-9910

President: Carolyn DeWitt
Director of Marketing and Partnerships: Kiki Burger
Director of Civic Technology and Policy: Jen Tolentino

Rock the Vote is the largest nonprofit and nonpartisan organization in the United States devoted to the youth vote to the polls. The organization has pioneered ways to make voting easier for young adults by simplifying and demystifying voter registration and elections.

The United State Elections Project
223 Anderson Hall
P.O. Box 117325
Gainesville, FL 32611

Associate Professor University of Florida Department of Political Science (Principal Investigator): Michael P. McDonald, (352)-273-2371, michael.mcdonald@ufl.edu

The mission of the project is to provide timely and accurate election statistics, electoral laws, research reports, and other useful information regarding the United States electoral system. By providing this information, the project seeks to inform the people of the United States on how their electoral system works, how it may be improved, and how they can participate in it.

American Civil Liberties Union
125 Broad Street, 18th Floor
New York, NY 10004-2400
(212) 549-2500

The ACLU  believes that voting is the cornerstone of our democracy and the fundamental right upon which all our civil liberties rest. The ACLU works to protect and expand Americans freedom to vote. In addition to this litigation, we are working with our affiliates to advocate for policies that make it easier for Americans to vote, such as the expansion of same-day and online voter registration.

 

Voto Latino
Follow @VotoLatino

Voto Latino is a nonpartisan organization that empowers Latino Millennials to claim a better future for themselves and their community. United by the belief that Latino issues are American issues and American issues are Latino issues, Voto Latino is dedicated to bringing new and diverse voices to develop leaders by engaging youth, media, technology and celebrities to promote positive change.

YOUR VOICE

How Do I talk to My Elected Officials?

Town Hall Project
Town Hall Project empowers constituents across the country to have face-to-face conversations with their elected representatives. THP is made up campaign veterans and first-time volunteers from a diversity of backgrounds and live across the country They do research every district and state for public events with members of Congress and share their findings to promote participation in the democratic process.

Alliance for Justice
Alliance for Justice believes that all Americans have the right to secure justice in the courts and to have their voices heard when government makes decisions that affect their lives. We are a national association of 130 organizations, representing a broad array of groups committed to progressive values and the creation of an equitable, just, and free society.

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