Long Islanders Mark National Voter Registration Day

Long Islanders gathered in Mineola to mark National Voter Registration Day.

As the 2012 elections showed us, our communities let their votes do the talking. We turned out in droves to vote for who we thought best represented our communities and who would do what’s right for the people.

That’s why on this day, September 24, Long Islanders united at the Nassau County Legislature in Mineola to mark National Voter Registration Day, a national initiative devoted to ensuring that all eligible voters have the opportunity to register. Here on Long Island, our allies have registered more than 9,000 new voters, who are sure to make a difference during this year’s local elections.

We called on our elected officials to take action on the issues that are most pressing for Long Islanders, including passing comprehensive immigration legislation that keeps families together.

“For those aspiring Americans who are allowed to fulfill their dreams of becoming citizens, being able to vote is key to their participating in civic life,” said Maryann Sinclair Slutsky, executive director of Long Island Wins. “So we thank those who are working in the trenches every day to make that possible.”

“It was a privilege registering hundreds of people in my community, many of whom live in areas that politicians have ignored,” said Carlos Reyes, member of Make the Road New York. “Most of the 800 people that Make the Road New York registered support comprehensive immigration reform, and I’m thrilled that these voters will be able to select candidates who support reform, as well.” Carlos Reyes is among the estimated 100,000 undocumented immigrants on Long Island, and he continues pushing for immigration reform so he can one day be among those who can vote in the place that he calls home.

Long Island Wins joined together with more than a dozen organizations on Long Island in a “Vote for Respect” campaign to register voters of color in advance of November’s municipal elections, with voters clamoring for politicians to pass comprehensive immigration reform and protect vital county services. It was part of a larger effort in which we joined hundreds of groups around the country in marking National Voter Registration Day.

Long Island Wins joined a host of organizations from across Long Island, including Make the Road New York, New York Communities for Change, Central American Refugee Center, Long Island Civic Engagement Table, Local 32BJ (SEIU), La Fuente-Long Island Civic Participation Project, NAACP, SEPA Mujer, Hempstead Hispanic Civic Association, Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic, Planned Parenthood Nassau County, Health and Welfare Council of Long Island, Choice for All, Every Child Matters, and Economic Opportunity Commission of Nassau County.