Health centers’ position in the community affords them the opportunity to be the catalyst for a dramatic increase in civic engagement through legal, permissible, nonpartisan voter engagement activities including training and educating staff on the importance of registration, voter registration, voter education, and get-out-the-vote (GOTV) campaigns.
This year CaliforniaHealth+ Advocates partnered alongside the Regional Associations of California to engage health centers in coordinated voter engagement campaigns. We teamed up with Nonprofit VOTE and the National Voter Registration Day Campaign to provide health centers with voter engagement resources in every California community.
Our collective work involved launching a 2018 Voter Engagement Toolkit to provide additional guidance on permissible voter engagement activities for community health centers. The objective of this toolkit was to give health center staff the tools needed to empower their patients to participate in civic engagement.
Equipped with new resources, health centers across the state engaged mightily in the November 6th mid-term election. Mission Neighborhood Health Center and Community Health Partnership became official polling places to strengthen their presence in the community. Other health centers organized daily voter registration drives, phone banks to inform voters of the upcoming election, and targeted outreach to low propensity voters. Collectively, all of these efforts helped to drive high turn out on Election Day and revive the importance of participating in our democracy.
The 2018 election may be over, but it’s never too late or too early to get your health center involved in Get Out the Vote! For more information on GOTV efforts, please contact Janalynn Castillo at firstname.lastname@example.org.