Our Perspectives on the Latest Issues
The 2020 election is just about one month away. Many voters are highly engaged as the stakes are so high for the values we each hold personally dear for our families, our communities, state and country.
As an advocacy organization active with state and federal policy, in legislatures and the courts, PennFuture views participation in voting as strategic to the environmental outcomes we work toward. So we moved more intentionally into democracy work to ensure that this aspect of our democracy is optimized.
We want everyone who is eligible to vote to be registered to vote, and we work to be sure that those who are registered to vote are able to do so safely, free of intimidation and in as informed a way as possible.
PennFuture’s Democracy for All program focuses on non-partisan voter registration, voter education, voter engagement and get-out-the vote work. It is aimed at individuals of color, millennials and single women, a group of voters sometimes referred to as the New American Majority or Rising American Electorate.
Last summer, when we were planning our non-partisan voter registration program, we envisioned a tried and true model that would be deploying canvassers into the field, armed with iPads or tablets, and electronically registering eligible individuals in person. COVID-19 upended that model as our need to provide for the safety of our staff and contractors became a paramount consideration.
We held out hope until the last possible minute to run an in-person program but the persistence of the pandemic and contagion of the virus made it too difficult.
Our team needed to get creative and pivot our tactics. Despite all of these restrictions and limitations, we are still out in Pennsylvania communities registering people to vote in the most important election in recent memory.
PennFuture is dedicated to fighting for clean air, clean water and a healthy environment, and our Democracy for All program is equally dedicated to ensuring that disenfranchised communities in Pennsylvania make their voices heard by voting in all elections.
We are reminded of the words of the Honorable John Lewis, "Voting and participating in the democratic process are key. The vote is the most powerful nonviolent change agent you have in a democratic society. You must use it because it is not guaranteed. You can lose it."
There’s no better way to change the present and forge a better future than by voting. Here’s to hoping everyone who is eligible registers to vote, and there’s no better time to register than right now.