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On National Voter Registration Day, Coalition's Immigrants Vote! Campaign Mobilize Immigrant Voters With Administrative Relief in Mind

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Contact: Thanu Yakupitiyage,  Main Phone: 212-627-2227 ext. 235,  E-mail: tyaku@nyic.org
New York  (Tuesday, September 23, 2014)

On National Voter Registration Day, Coalition's Immigrants Vote! Campaign Mobilize Immigrant Voters With Administrative Relief in Mind

“Big, Bold Relief Starts With Our Votes” Says Immigrant Advocates

(New York, NY) As National Voter Registration Day commenced today, NYIC’s Immigrants Vote! campaign members came together to speak about mass voter registration in several of the State’s immigrant-heavy districts. From Jackson Heights to Flushing, Queens, Sunset Park, Bayridge, and Flatbush, Brooklyn and Long Island, NYIC’s member groups will register hundreds of new American voters to head to the polls this November.

Before heading to voter registration sites across city, campaign members representing Caribbean, Asian, Arab, and Latino communities gathered with a united message that immigrants will vote for representatives who support issues critical to immigrant communities, including executive action on administrative relief, immigration reform, the New York State DREAM Act, and more.


Left to Right: Steven Choi, executive director of NYIC; Luis Feliz, lead organizer at La Fuente; Tenzin Chadotsang, deputy director of Chhaya CDC, Nydia Pautt, La Fuente member; Murad Awawdeh, civic engagement coordinator, NYIC; Valeria Treves, executive director, NICE; Joanna Oplustil, Haitian Americans United for Progress; Manuel Castro, immigration advocacy coordinator, NYIC.

“In the lead up to the elections this November, our communities have experienced some major disappointments – from Congress taking no action on immigration reform to the President delaying administrative action,” said Steven Choi, executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition. “We are here on National Voter Registration day to emphasize that just like in elections past, the immigrant vote will make a huge difference in November’s elections. With our partners in the Immigrants Vote! Campaign, we look forward to registering thousands of new American voters to show our collective power and to remind our leaders that immigrant issues must remain priority in their political agendas.”

“NICE members play a key role in the political process by mobilizing and educating their voter neighbors and holding candidate forums to express their issues and concerns. As such we are committed to holding politicians and elected officials accountable to both voting and non-voting constituencies,” Valeria Treves, executive director, New Immigrant Community Empowerment (NICE). “On National Voter Registration Day, it is especially important to reach out to immigrant communities that may be eligible but not yet registered to vote, and to continue to educate voters on the importance of knowing who is running in their area and where they stand on the issues. NICE is proud to work closely with NYIC and all the partners of the Immigrant Vote! campaign. Together, we will continue to build power and voice for immigrant communities"

"With citizenship comes a duty to vote. OCA-NY is a proud partner of the Immigrants Vote! Campaign and we are engaging our community to never forget that there once was a time when many immigrants could not become citizens and people lost their lives fighting for the right to vote," said Elizabeth R. OuYang, President, OCA-Asian American Advocates, New York Chapter

"We have worked tirelessly to build the political power of the Arab and Muslim American community," said Linda Sarsour, executive director of the Arab American Association of New York. "We look forward to multiplying the power by engaging in a rigorous and comprehensive Immigrants Vote! campaign this election cycle in South Brooklyn. On National Voter Registration Day we will be registering community residents to vote in this upcoming election.”

Tenzin Chatodsang, deputy director, Chhaya CDC, "This year is an important year for the voice of immigrant communities, especially that of the South Asian-American population, to be heard. Many issues are affecting our communities, such as a lack of affordable housing, language barriers, and unemployment which contributes to the high growth rate of poverty among our community. Chhaya CDC is excited to be a part of the Immigrants Vote! campaign and National Voter Registration Day which will bring our immigrant voices into the public sphere to ensure that elections are accessible to immigrant communities. We look forward to seeing a stronger immigrant voters presence in this election year."

"Now more than ever, members of our community must register to vote and show our power through the ballot box. The demands of our time, require full civic participation of those most directly impacted by the decisions of our electoral class," said Angela Fernandez, Esq. Executive Director of Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights.

Immigrants Vote! Campaign members are conducting voter registration drives throughout immigrant heavy areas of New York today.

Voter Registration events in New York City are happening at the following locations today:

  • Voter Registration at the Eastern District Court House with Organization of Chinese American- NY Chapter;  9:30am- 11:30am; 225 Cadman Plaza E,; Brooklyn, NY
  • Voter Registration in South Brooklyn with Arab American Association of NY; 1:00pm- 6:00pm; 86 St between 4th and 5th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11209
  • Voter Registration with New Immigrant Community Empowerment; 2:00pm- 5:00pm; 37 - 41 77th Street, Jackson Heights, NY 11372
  • Voter Registration at Queens College with Chhaya CDC; 11:00am – 2:30pm; 65-30 Kissena Blvd, Flushing, NY 11367
  • Voter Registration at Diversity Plaza with Chhaya CDC; 3:30 – 6:30pm; 37th Road betw 73rd St and 74th St, Jackson Heights, NY 11372
  • Voter Registration at MinKwon Center for Community Action; 4:00pm – 7:00pm; 136-19 41st Ave, Flushing, NY 11355

Voter Registration Events in Long Island are happening at the following locations today:

  • Voter Registration with Long Island Civic Engagement Table (NYIC co-sponsored event); 11am; 1090 Suffolk Ave, Brentwood, NY 11717; Contact: Amy Richards, 631-355-1685

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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.

The Immigrants Vote! Campaign has been planning for an aggressive voter engagement program – building on our successful prior Immigrants Vote! campaigns - for this fall, leading up to and through the November general elections.  Our voter contact efforts will strengthen our use of our successful model, working closely with a diverse set of partner and member organizations in New York City, Long Island, and Westchester County.  Voter registration and engagement efforts have commenced, and our efforts will focus on intensive voter contact throughout the fall, with GOTV efforts geared toward the general elections on November 4th.

The New Yorkers for Real Immigration Reform campaign is a statewide campaign coordinated by the New York Immigration Coalition and endorsed by 170 labor, business, faith, grassroots and immigrant organizations from across the state. The coalition is calling for an overhaul of the immigration system to meet the needs of the economy and keep families together.

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