SEPTEMBER 16, 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 19 Our Homes, Our Votes Webinar: EARLY VOTING AND VOTE-BY-MAIL
Our Homes, Our Votes is NLIHC’s nonpartisan campaign to increase voter participation among low-income renters and to educate candidates about housing solutions. The Our Homes, Our Votes: 2022 webinar series features experts with frontline election experience to walk through every step of voter and candidate engagement activities and support housing organizations’ nonpartisan election efforts. Join our next webinar on Monday, September 19, at 2:30 pm ET to discuss successful strategies to promote early voting and vote-by-mail!
MTV Offers Grant Opportunity for Vote Early Day Partners
MTV is offering grants to 501c3 nonprofit organizations that are planning in-person activities on Vote Early Day (October 28). The grant will fund activities geared towards young voters who have faced historical and institutional barriers to casting a ballot. Organizations must be signed up as official partners of Vote Early Day to be eligible for the grant. The Vote Early Day partner sign-up form can be found here, and the grant application can be found here. Applications are due on September 18, and grant recipients will be notified by September 27.
From the Our Homes, Our Votes Field
Candidate Engagement Elevates Housing as an Election Issue in Minnesota
Housing advocates in Minnesota, including NLIHC state partners Minnesota Housing Partnership (MHP) and Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless (MCH), are engaging with candidates in state-level races and elevating public attention to housing issues during election season. “Every election cycle is a critical opportunity to ensure candidates prioritize housing stability for people they seek to represent,” said Libby Murphy, director of policy at MHP. “We can’t let candidates off the hook – by using our influence, we inspire them to commit to solutions to our housing crisis.”
MHP and Habitat for Humanity of Minnesota created a nonpartisan Candidate Questionnaire on Housing Issues, which was distributed to all candidates for the Minnesota State Senate and Minnesota House of Representatives. The purpose of the
questionnaire is to educate and inform residents about candidate responses to housing issues; it does not serve as an endorsement of any candidate or political party. MHP is publicizing all candidates’ responses to the questionnaire with social media posts and on its website and held a Twitterstorm and call-in day on September 14 to urge candidates to respond to the questionnaire.
MCH and Habitat for Humanity of Minnesota are also planning a gubernatorial candidates’ forum on Thursday, September 29, which will be held in person at MCH’s conference as well as livestreamed.
MHP provides tools that enable Minnesota advocates to connect with candidates and encourage them to prioritize affordable housing. MHP’s Advocacy and Social Media Toolkit, which can be downloaded here, makes it easy to reach candidates with suggested scripts and social media messages. Weekly meetings with partners provide a space for Minnesota housing advocates to collaborate on strategies for candidate outreach. MHP also hosted a webinar to share ideas and guidance for 501c3 nonprofit organizations to engage candidates in a nonpartisan way. The webinar recording can be found here.
Changes in State Election Laws Since 2020
The Voting Rights Lab summarizes key trends in election law changes since 2020 in its article The Lasting Impacts of the 2020 Election: Voter Registration, Voter List Maintenance, and Mail Ballot Applications. The authors note that while many states expanded voting access in the 2020 election in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, certain provisions, such as voting by mail, became controversial and began to take a partisan lean. Some states have subsequently increased barriers to voter registration and restricted mail ballot access. The article cites examples of increased barriers to registration in Texas, Arizona, Tennessee, Florida, Montana, Missouri, and New Hampshire. Examples of restrictions to mail ballot access were found in Florida, Texas, Georgia, Delaware, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Arizona. On the other hand, some states have expanded access to voter registration and mail ballots. The article cites examples of voter registration improvements in Delaware, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Georgia, and Louisiana. Examples of expanded mail ballot access were found in California, Nevada, Vermont, Delaware, Rhode Island, and New York. The Voting Rights Lab will continue to monitor the impact of these changes on voters in the 2020 election.
Visit the Our Homes, Our Votes Online Store!
Show off your commitment to housing justice in style with Our Homes, Our Votes campaign merchandise! Our online store offers T-shirts, sweatshirts, buttons, hats, stickers, and other accessories, with messages in both English and Spanish. Visit NLIHC’s Shopify page to browse the full collection and place your order.
In Case You Missed It (ICYMI)…
Nonprofit VOTE hosted a webinar, “Comprehensive Voter Engagement: Making Meaningful Connections,” on Wednesday, September 7. The webinar featured resources that will help nonprofit staff and volunteers have meaningful interactions with voters and combine face-to-face outreach with digital tools. The recording can be found here.
National Voter Registration hosted a webinar, “5 Days to Go – 5 Ways to Get Ready,” on Thursday, September 15. The webinar provided a crash course in the essential elements that make up a good voter registration event, with a panel featuring The Fair Elections Center, Pizza to the Polls, Cleveland Votes, and Asian Community Development Council. The recording can be found 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 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 is hosting 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.
The Alaska Coalition on Housing and Homelessness and the Anchorage Coalition to End Homelessness will host an Alaska Housing & Homelessness Gubernatorial Town Hall. The gubernatorial candidates will discuss their plans to address housing and homelessness issues. The town hall will take place on Friday, October 7, from 6 to 7:30 pm AKDT. The event will be streamed on YouTube and Facebook.
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