New York City’s 2017 Student Voter Registration Day Will Register Thousands of Students During Important Municipal Election Year
New York – On March 16th, 2017; the New York Immigration Coalition, in partnership with the New York City Council, NYC Votes, the Board of Elections, and the New York City Department of Education, announced Student Voter Registration Day (SVRD) to be held on March 17th, 2017 in 60 high schools across New York City’s five boroughs.
SVRD is a one-day program designed to help New York City educate students on civic participation and register them to vote. With critical municipal elections happening later this year, SVRD aims to engage students to be active participants in our democracy. The program aim to register 10,000 students in 60 schools.
Council Member Helen Rosenthal said, “Today’s young people were fortunate to be born with the right to vote, regardless of race or gender. Our next challenge is to raise awareness of the value of voting and civic participation. Student Voter Registration Day gives students the opportunity to understand the impact they can make through civic participation – both in and out of the voting booth. I’m immensely proud to have sponsored the Resolution that calls for annual Student Voter Registration Days in New York City schools to boost youth civic engagement. Thank you to my colleagues on the City Council who supported this measure, the NYC Department of Education, the NYC Campaign Finance Board, the New York Immigration Coalition, and our supporter organizations for helping to make SVRD a success.”
Onida Coward Mayers, Director of Voter Assistance at the NYC Campaign Finance Board, said “Cultivating a culture of voting amongst our young people is the single greatest investment we can make in our democracy. Student Voter Registration Day is about getting young people excited about voting and starting them off on a path of engagement that will last a lifetime. They need to know that their vote is their voice and that they can shape their future and the future of their communities by making it heard at the ballot box.”
Yolanda Torres, Executive Superintendent of the Division of Family and Community Engagement, The NYC Department of Education, said “This initiative had a great impact last year, educating and registering over 8,500 young New Yorkers to vote. This is a great program, and I thank Speaker Mark-Viverito, Council Woman Helen Rosenthal, and the City Council as well as our partners NYC Votes, the Board of Elections, and the New York Immigration Coalition. I thank schools for participating in Student Voter Registration Day tomorrow and registering eligible New York City students to vote. This program inspires and prepares students to become active members of their communities beyond election day… Your vote, and your voice, do matter.”
Council Member and Immigration Committee Chair Carlos Menchaca said, “Our City and our nation need young people to take leadership roles in civic life. Voting is the first step, and a most important one. I call on young voters to be actively engaged at school and in our communities. Your presence and your voices matter. When I work in City Council, at community boards, or on Participatory Budgeting, I always look for youth to provide new ideas. When they do, the results are better.”
Council Member Barry S. Grodenchik said, “New York City has consistently had low youth voter turnout. During the 2016 Presidential primaries, only fourteen percent of voters were between the ages of eighteen and twenty-nine. We need to encourage our students early on to be civically engaged. From tuition hikes to funding for school programs, there are a series of issues in our City that directly affect our youth. It is critical that we provide the necessary resources for students to get involved, starting with voting. Last year, we were able to register over four hundred students at Benjamin N. Cardozo High School and we are hoping to increase that number this year.”
James Hong, Interim Executive Director of the MinKwon Center for Community Action, said, “The MinKwon Center is excited to again participate in Student Voter Registration Day. The earlier a New Yorker can get into the habit of voting – and voting for their interests and in the interests of their community – the better. Ensuring that Asian Americans and other marginalized groups are heard in the electoral process is part of a strong democracy.”
Ianna Hayes, 2017 NYC Youth Poet Laureate Program Ambassador, said “I have a message for young New Yorkers today! Voting matters. From the quality of our schools, to the resources in our public libraries, to criminal justice reform, when you vote local you are putting your mark on these issues and charting the future for your community. Embrace your power as a citizen to build a city that works for everyone! Today I want all of my fellow students to register and commit to voting in our the elections this fall.”
The New York Immigration Coalition is an umbrella policy and advocacy organization for nearly 200 groups in New York State that work with immigrants and refugees.The NYIC aims to achieve a fairer and more just society that values the contributions of immigrants and extends opportunity to all by promoting immigrants’ full civic participation, fostering their leadership, and providing a unified voice and a vehicle for collective action for New York’s diverse immigrant communities.
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