United, We Vote: Amplifying Community Voice - United Ways of California

United, We Vote: Amplifying Community Voice

Wednesday, January 3, 2024

Everywhere you turn for news — TV networks, radio, newspapers, social media — we see stories about how deeply divided Americans are, how distrust, rancor and hate are growing. In many ways, this is because the business model for social media, and the incentives for political parties, is to highlight and amplify the extremes.

Rather than feeding rancor and hate, our communities need bold leadership that seeks to forge unity, rather than to divide, as we fight to recover from the (still ongoing) coronavirus pandemic, rebuild our economy, help kids recover lost learning opportunities, and build financial stability for families.

Throughout our history, United Way has worked to bring communities together, to bridge gaps to find common ground to drive substantial positive change. For over 130 years, United Way has brought together leaders in communities to solve problems in a non-partisan manner. Engaging citizens and encouraging them to be actively involved in their communities is at the heart of how we advance our mission. We are imperfect, but every day United Ways work to mobilize the caring power of communities for the common good.

Today, the role we and our community partners play is even more critical than ever. We know that it takes engaged citizens, working in good faith, from all sectors — community, business, labor, government, and charitable — to improve the quality of life in our communities. Elevating community voice is fundamental to solving our nation’s most challenging community problems; helping people become active, engaged and empowered members of their communities is critical to creating strong, healthy, equitable, and resilient communities.

This is why we are committed to expanding participation in our democracy. There is a deep connection between participating in community life and voting. Voting is how we express our hopes and dreams for our shared future. It is also the most fundamental right for all American citizens, upon which all other rights and liberties depend.

United Ways in California and across the country have been mobilizing people to vote and be champions for their communities for years, and this year we are activating our network to increase our efforts.

We are in the business of bringing communities together, and during these trying times, when so many resources are targeted on driving our communities apart, we must do what we can to bring more voices to express their view of the common good. We must strive for a more perfect union. And to that end, we want to encourage everyone to make their voice heard, at the ballot box as well as in community meetings.

To receive helpful updates on voter resources and deadlines, text VOTE to 211-211.

Peter Manzo

Peter Manzo is the President & CEO of United Ways of California, which improves health, education, and financial results for low-income children and families by enhancing and coordinating the impact and advocacy work of California’s United Ways.


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