Engaging voters one step at a time

On November 6, over 14,000 people from South Omaha’s Ward 4 cast their vote for the 2012 Presidential Election, resulting in a 58.5% turnout rate.  Yet, for the City of Omaha Municipal Elections on April 2, 2013, we returned to a low level of political interest and disconnect among this voting population and the importance of civic participation.  Taking into account the upcoming General Municipal Election next Tuesday, May 14 and the two previous elections, the HWC has learned that civic engagement is a constant process of formation and education that goes beyond specific election cycles.  Secondly, the activities to get voters to the polls must be connected with organizing and the constant search for leaders.  Lastly, as we learned from the last election cycle, strategies must be culturally appropriate, disseminated in a popular manner, and related to a local organization, such as a the HWC.

The 2013 Municipal Elections offers an opportunity to once again re-engage the community in politics.  The HWC has made over 3,000 phone calls and is visiting voters in the South Omaha precincts to promote voter participation.  It has run announcements and candidate profiles in the Spanish-language newspaper, Mundo Latino,  has 30-second video running on Univision and Telemundo, and announcements running every hour on the Spanish-language radio station, La Nueva 1020AM.  These strategies are just the first steps as we prepare the community for the next phase in the I Vote for My Family Initiative, which will be the 2014 Midterm Elections.  For more information on this initiative or to volunteer, contact us at 402.933.6095.