Kristina Nielander, Voter Engagement Organizer
Greetings, Housing Friends!
To start, here are just some of my feelings regarding the 2016 election year.
Everywhere I look, I’m bombarded with information and opinions about the upcoming elections. While I’m definitely concerned with the outcome of the General Election, my focus right now is on the Primary.
The deadline to register to vote by mail in the primary is July 4th. If you’re scratching your head because you associate July 4th with fireworks and closed post offices, you’re one step ahead of the game. All mail-in voter registration forms must be postmarked no later than July 2nd for voters to vote in the primary. This is especially important in Seattle because that’s when the Housing Levy hits the ballot.
What’s the Housing Levy, you ask? Great question!
The Housing Levy is a small property tax that goes toward funding affordable homes. First approved in 1981, the Housing Levy has been an integral part of funding 12,000 affordable homes for people with the lowest incomes. Now, it’s time to vote on the levy again, and this time we want to double it. Mayor Murray has a goal of developing 20,000 affordable homes for folks who are low income over the next decade. Given the huge increases in homelessness and families who are struggling to afford their homes, this investment is crucial.
So what do we do?
First, VOTE! Vote Yes on the Seattle Housing Levy!
Second, ask others to vote, which includes asking others to register to vote. The folks that understand this issue the most are the ones who live in affordable homes around Seattle, so we’re going to knock on their doors and talk to them about it!
The Washington Housing Alliance Action Fund is organizing a Voter Registration Canvassing Day on Thursday, June 30th. We’re going to knock on doors in buildings with affordable homes and ask folks two things: 1) is your voter registration up to date and 2) will you be a Housing Voter? This is a great opportunity to learn more about your community and to get civically engaged. Plus, friends, it’s going to be a really fun!
On June 30th, we’re going out in two shifts:
11:00 – 3:00 PM
4:00 – 8:00 PM
(You will likely get more contacts during this time period, so try to attend this shift if you can!)
We’ll meet at the Housing Alliance for the first hour for training and pizza, and then we’ll head out to knock on doors for about two hours. If you’ve never done this before, don’t worry! We’ll pair you up with someone who has some experience, and we’ll have plenty of information available if any questions come up. Afterward, we’ll meet back up to turn in the Voter Registration Forms, debrief, and celebrate.
So….if you’re interested in canvassing for the future of affordable homes in Seattle, please email me firstname.lastname@example.org. Expect a super enthusiastic email in return!
Happy 2016, everyone!