MIRA and Members Mobilize New Americans to Make a Difference in Mid-Term Elections
Work includes everything from door knocking to a new voter guide for the gubernatorial race
October 31, 2014 BOSTON - Since the beginning of 2014, the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA) and its partners have helped hundreds of qualified green card holders become citizens, registered over 1,100 new citizens to vote, and mobilized thousands more to cast their vote and show New American voter participation in the November 4, 2014 mid-term elections. The work also includes targeted door knocking and phone banking, as well as a gubernatorial candidates forum and newly released voter guide..
"One of the best ways to be heard by politicians and to promote immigrant integration is to increase the civic participation of the immigrant community. Immigrant voters are ready to vote and will then hold Washington accountable for promised changes on our immigration system " said MIRA Organizing Director Cristina Aguilera. "Our state has a population of over six million residents, one million of whom are foreign-born. In turn, over half of these immigrants are naturalized citizens, forming a huge potential voting block. We strive to further increase their numbers by helping qualified immigrants become citizens, registering new citizens to vote at naturalization ceremonies, and then informing New Americans about their choices and encouraging them to get to the polls."
After attending over two dozen naturalization ceremonies and hosting over a dozen citizenship application assistance workshops in 2014, the MIRA Coalition has turned to knocking on doors and targeting a database of over 9,000 voters, concentrating on important immigrant communities in Framingham and Marlborough, Massachusetts, as well as in Manchester, New Hampshire.
"As of today, we've already knocked on 2,000 doors," Ms. Aguilera continued. "We are distributing Mass Voter Table guides, informing people about the logistics of voting, and advocating a yes vote on Ballot Question 4, which would guarantee paid sick time for thousands of workers who suffer without it."
Much of this non-partisan work has been done in collaboration with MIRA members and partners, including MassVOTE, the Coalition for a Better Acre, the East Boston Ecumenical Community Council, SEIU 32BJ, Boston University's Community Service Center, the City of Revere's Election Commission, the Mayor's Office of New Bostonians, the Yes on 4 campaign (Raise Up Coalition), and the Massachusetts Voter Table.