National NOW Times >> Spring 2004 >> Article
"10 for Change" Campaign Already Registering New Voters
NOW and the NOW Foundation launched a new voter registration and mobilization campaign, 10 for Change, at the March for Women's Lives in Washington, D.C., where it was met with massive enthusiasm. Thanks to hard-working volunteers, more than 1,000 eager women and men joined our campaign to mobilize voters for equality and justice.
Those who took the 10 for Change challenge have agreed to help register new voters and educate friends and family about issues important in this year's elections and to encourage them to vote in November. Although March participants were the first to get started on 10 for Change, the campaign is open to anyone who cares about women's rights. You can sign up to take the challenge at www.10forChange.org and even become eligible for rewards along the way.
"Women have immense potential to make a difference in this country, yet so many aren't even registered to vote," said NOW President Kim Gandy. "We can't expect our leaders to represent our interests if we don't participate in the political process ourselves."
This campaign's strength is in its ease: by turning one vote into 10, and 10 votes into 100, and 100 votes into 1,000, the domino effect will span the nation and garner the support we need to make a difference in November.
Voting was a central issue discussed by such prominent March speakers as Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., Whoopi Goldberg and Gloria Steinem. "If all we do is march today, that will not change the direction this country is headed under this administration," said Sen. Clinton.
Voter turnout has dropped dramatically in the U.S. over the last 40 years. Nearly half the voting-age population did not cast a ballot in the 2000 election — that's almost 100 million adults who did not vote. "It's about time we turn this trend around," said Gandy, "and make sure women have a voice in this country's policies, at home and abroad."
The 10 for Change campaign is an easy way for individuals to get involved and make a difference. Those who have already signed-up at www.10forchange.org are following 10 easy steps to help motivate unregistered and lapsed voters in their communities. Participants work at their own pace, familiarize themselves with voting registration in their area, read about important issues, and then pass that information along to 10 friends, family members, coworkers, classmates and others. They're even earning rewards along the way.
The idea is to not only inspire women and men to vote in November, but to gradually immerse them in a process that might otherwise seem intimidating or alienating.
"A lot of people are frustrated with the political process," said NOW Action Vice President Olga Vives. "They feel like their voices don't count or their lives are too busy to get involved. But the only way we can have a healthy democracy in this country is to actually get out and vote, and to encourage others to do the same. People are more likely to learn about the process and the issues if they hear about it from someone they know—their sister, best friend or next-door neighbor."
Extensive resources and tips are available on the 10forChange.org web site—including fact sheets on important issues and information about where and how to register to vote and how to help others register. Even someone who is brand-new to the voting process will find 10 for Change easy, interactive, helpful and fun.
"Through 10 for Change, minimal effort can produce maximum results," Vives added. "One person truly can make a significant difference."
People are joining 10 for Change every day. Check out the web site at www.10forchange.org and join the effort to mobilize voters who believe in equality and justice for all.
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