With the help of 5 college interns and 70 volunteers we surveyed and organized hundreds of residents in struggling neighborhoods and amplified the voice of inner city residents in the August primary. This fall the CVP will continue getting people fired up to take action and change their communities.
2012 marks our fourth full-fledged Community Voter Project -and our second in Hartford. This time five college interns (including four who grew up in Hartford) harnessed their passion and creativity to lead the project. We also partnered with the Greater Hartford NAACP and, together, found more ways to reach out to Hartford residents in neighborhoods with the lowest levels of voter and civic participation.
With volunteers recruited directly from the doors, as well as over 25 local community and labor organizations, we knocked on 3,177 doors, registered 231 people to vote, and surveyed 732 residents about their concerns. The issues residents cited most frequently were crime, jobs, and programs and opportunities for youth.
Our surveys are more than data collection, however. CVP canvassers utilize surveys and voter registration as means of engaging residents in in-depth conversations about their concerns. Through these exchanges we aim to connect issues affecting inner-city residents with the need to build power and make change around these issues through voting -as well as additional means. At its core the CVP is about political empowerment for underrepresented communities. We see voting as essential to making democracy work, but we also hope that through this work residents will get more involved in advocating for their communities over the long haul. To accomplish this, we recruit passionate residents to come out and volunteer with the CVP, then organize and mobilize with them to fight for the things our communities need: excellent public education, access to quality health care, affordable housing, and good jobs that sustain families and the economy.
The chart below details the final survey results:
To see more photos from our Summer CVP, or to learn more about the project please visit our Facebook Page.
On November 6 we will help decide who becomes our next President, as well as who becomes CT’s next Senator. These will both be very close races; the race for U.S. Senate race will be a deciding factor in which party controls the Senate. We must do our part to ensure that Hartford’s communities of color and low-income communities have a say in making these crucial decisions. Please don’t forget to vote . . . and remind your neighbors, co-workers, clients, family and friends to do the same! For more information on voting, or to find your polling place visit www.vote411.org.