August 26, 2022
Thank you for reading NLIHC’s Our Homes, Our Votes newsletter. We are glad to have you as a partner in our NLIHC-led Our Homes, Our Votes nonpartisan candidate and voter engagement project. This newsletter will provide you with the latest news and updates related to voter engagement around affordable housing advocacy. You will receive national updates, access to resources, and information about events and what is happening on the ground.
Register for september 6 Our Homes, Our Votes Webinar: Ballot Measures and Housing
The next webinar, “Ballot Measures and Housing," will take place on Tuesday, September 6, at 2:30 pm ET. Ballot measures are powerful mechanisms to secure tenant protections and significant investments in housing programs at the state and local levels. Bringing issues directly to the voters can be an expensive and complex undertaking but often produces transformative results. This session will discuss how to get housing on the ballot and carry out a successful ballot measure campaign. The panel will feature Ben Kelly, communications consultant, and Chris Bowen, public policy organizer at Southern California Association of Nonprofit Housing (SCANPH).
Community Solutions Releases Candidate Engagement Resource
Community Solutions, a national nonprofit dedicated to ending homelessness, has developed a tool for engaging candidates for elected office at all levels of government. The resource, “Are Your Candidates Committed to Ending Homelessness?,” offers guidance for determining candidates’ stances on policies that aim to measurably end homelessness.
The resource includes sample questions to assess a candidate’s commitment to addressing homelessness and housing barriers, their support for Housing First, and whether they will adopt data-driven approaches to end homelessness. Community Solutions also lists questions to ask candidates on the campaign trail, which can be used to learn more about a candidate’s platform and educate the candidate about housing and homelessness. These conversations during campaign season can lay the groundwork for ongoing advocacy with newly elected leaders. Embedded in this resource is a voter toolkit that provides additional voter engagement information.
The Role of White Racial Resentment in Introducing and Passing Restrictive Voting Laws
The Brennan Center has developed a unique data set to test the role that white racial resentment played in introducing and passing restrictive voting laws across the country in 2021. Researchers tracked every restrictive voting provision introduced in each state legislature as well as its sponsors. They also examined the district-level characteristics that most correlated with whether a lawmaker sponsored one of these bills, including partisan and racial makeup of their districts and states as well as the racial opinions of their constituents, measured in the 2020 Cooperative Election Survey (CES). The Brennan Center concludes that the recent trend of restrictive voting laws lies at the intersection of race and partisanship. At the legislative district level, the Brennan Center finds that representatives from the whitest districts in the most racially diverse states were the most likely to sponsor restrictive voting bills and that districts with higher racial resentment – those which scored higher on relevant questions in the CES that gauge how respondents think about race in politics – were more likely to be represented by lawmakers who sponsored restrictive bills. At the state level, the Brennan Center finds that predominantly white states are unlikely to introduce or pass restrictive provisions, regardless of which party controls the legislature. Racially diverse states with unified Republican control are far more likely to introduce and pass restrictive provisions.
From the Our Homes, Our Votes Field
North Carolina Expands Voting Rights for Returning Citizens
Citizens who are on probation, parole, or post-release supervision for felony convictions in North Carolina now have the right to register and vote, effective July 27, 2022. According to the Unlock Our Vote campaign, this decision will restore voting rights for more than 56,000 North Carolina residents, amounting to the largest expansion of voting rights in North Carolina since the “Voting Rights Act of 1965.” This decision comes after a North Carolina superior court ruled that denying voting rights to individuals with felonies who are serving out their sentences outside of a prison or jail infringes on the state’s constitution.
This decision has been appealed to the North Carolina Supreme Court, but the decision remains in effect while on appeal, so North Carolinians on probation, parole, or post-release supervision will have the right to register and vote in the 2022 midterm elections.
For updates and information on voter registration in North Carolina, please visit the North Carolina State Board of Elections website. For more information on this recent victory and ongoing advocacy efforts, please visit the Unlock Our Vote website.
In Case You Missed It (ICYMI)…
Nonprofit VOTE hosted a webinar, “Volunteering for Democracy,” on Wednesday, August 10. The webinar discussed how nonprofit organizations can embrace policies and programs that encourage staff, clients, and supporters to participate in election-related volunteer opportunities. The recording can be found here.
National Voter Registration Day, National Voter Education Week, Vote Early Day, and Election Hero Day hosted a webinar, “Celebrating the Civic Holidays on Social Media,” on Thursday, August 18. Guest speakers from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat shared strategies for successfully leveraging each social network to celebrate democracy. The recording can be found here.
Minnesota Housing Partnership hosted a webinar, “Vote Homes: Engaging Candidates in 2022,” on Thursday, August 18. The webinar gave an overview of opportunities for 501c3 nonprofits to educate and engage with candidates in the lead-up to the November elections. The recording can be found here.
Nonprofit VOTE hosted a webinar, “What’s On the Ballot? Nonpartisan Voter Guides,” on Wednesday, August 24. This webinar covered how nonprofit organizations can find and evaluate nonpartisan voter guides, provide sample resources, and share voter education strategies for the 2022 general election. The recording can be found here.
The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning & Engagement will host a webinar, “How K-12 Schools Can Grow Voters,” on Wednesday, August 31, at 3:00 pm ET. The webinar will cover the role of schools in preparing young people to participate in our nation’s democracy. Register here.
Nonprofit VOTE will host a webinar, “Comprehensive Voter Engagement: Making Meaningful Connections,” on Wednesday, September 7, at 2:00 pm ET. The webinar will feature resources that will help nonprofit staff and volunteers have meaningful interactions with voters and combine face-to-face outreach with digital tools. Register here.
Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative will co-host a candidate forum, “A Vision for Home: A Conversation on Housing with Minnesota Gubernatorial Candidates,” on Tuesday, September 13, at 7:00 pm CT. The forum will provide an opportunity for gubernatorial candidates to answer questions about homelessness, housing instability, and homeownership. The event will take place at Wayzata Community Church in Wayzata, MN. Register here.
Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless (MCH) and Habitat for Humanity of Minnesota will host a 2022 Governor’s Candidate Forum on Thursday, September 29, at 11:00 am CT. The forum will take place at the MCH annual conference and will be livestreamed on the MCH YouTube channel. Register here.
Vote Early Day will host a series of webinars that guide partner organizations to develop activation plans, implement best practices, and build on the momentum of National Voter Registration Day. Visit this page to preview the full list of topics and register for each webinar.
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