New American Democracy Project Registers Over 1,200 New Voters
By Greg Conner and Nicholas Short
October 29, 2008
CAIR-Chicago, Mosque, Foundation, and the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and refugee rights (ICIRR) joined forces this year to promote voter participation in the upcoming election through a fellowship program entitled the New American Democracy Project (NADP). The program has been a resounding success, managing to register over 1,200 new voters in the just the Chicago-land area.
For several months NADP has been conducting voter registration drives, canvassing door-to-door, training volunteers, holding phone banking sessions, distributing voter education guides, and setting up workshops for first-time voters to help them understand the process.
The campaign is also asking for volunteers to help lead in the effort to mobilize Muslim-Americans to the voter booth. The Mosque Foundation and surrounding communities have been in the focal point of this campaign as they strive to get record numbers registered and participating on Election Day.
On October 27th, 2008, there will be a “Get out the Vote” rally leaving Mosque Foundation at 6:00pm. They have also strategized a 72-hour plan for the three days leading up to the election, November 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, to remind and encourage Muslims to get out and vote.
This is set to be a historic election for many reasons. This is the first time since the 1920’s that neither an incumbent president nor a vice president ran for their party’s nomination. It is the first time in history that the front runners for both major parties are U.S. Senators. Either candidate would also be the first president to be born outside the continental United States as Senator Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii and Senator McCain was born at Coco Solo, Panama Canal Zone, a US naval base.
With the slogan “Our vote is power” CAIR-Chicago and its partners hope this campaign will “make the community visible to elected officials, empower the American Muslims, catalyze change in the immigration system, and support humane policies to restore civil rights” says Nadia Abusamayah, a community organizer and NADP fellow.
Those interested in offering support or volunteering with the project can contact Nadia Abusumayah at 312-493-1324 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.