Green Dot has always believed in the power of community. We have long sought to ensure that our school communities provide families with a space to learn and raise their collective voices. We incubated United Parents and Students (UPAS) as a family based pillar of civic support to the communities we serve. Our parents and students are becoming powerful self advocates for positive change in their neighborhoods through extra curricular “Parent Academy” workshops and community organizing. In our virtual classrooms, UPAS has partnered with teachers to educate students on the history of voter rights, the voting process, and the importance of the youth vote. Through this collaboration, Green Dot seniors have pre-registered to vote and have learned about one of the many ways they can elevate their voices to impact policies at the local, state, and national levels.
Though our physical buildings are closed due to the pandemic, our schools across the network have found innovative methods to drive voter awareness in their communities. On October 1, our staff at Ánimo Ellen Ochoa Charter Middle School will host a Voter Game Night in English and Spanish to help parents and voting-age students become familiar with their ballots. The student-run APB lab at Ánimo Pat Brown Charter High School (APB)—which has registered hundreds of voters in the Florence-Graham community— will host a virtual Voter Education Night for parents and students. During this event, APB students will present on both local and statewide ballot measures, ballot races, and the logistics of voting by mail.
Apart of its ongoing voter awareness campaign, UPAS will hold a virtual seminar on the LAUSD District 7 Board election on September 24. Parent and students across our network of schools can join the virtual event to learn about how each candidate plans to impact LAUSD District 7, which includes Locke College Preparatory Academy, Ánimo Watts College Preparatory Academy, Ánimo Mae Jemison Charter Middle School, Ánimo James B. Taylor Charter Middle School, and Ánimo Compton Charter School.
We remain committed to our mission of preparing the college graduates needed to build and sustain pathways to prosperity in the communities we serve. Voting provides people with an opportunity to amplify their voice, but we recognize civic engagement doesn't begin or end with voting. Through our ongoing collaboration with UPAS, we will continue to empower and support our families in creating the changes they want to see in their community.
In California, the online voter registration deadline is October 19, 2020, and in Tennessee voters need to register online before October 5, 2020. You can visit the California Secretary of State website, or the Tennessee Secretary of State website to register to vote, check your registration status, and find the safest way for you to submit your ballot during the upcoming election. On the UPAS website, you can also fill out voter registration forms for California and Tennessee.
Ways to Get Involved
Community Organizing Institute: Once a month, UPAS hosts a virtual meeting with parents and students, where they learn how to elevate their voices in their communities, and the importance of the upcoming election. If you would like to participate or learn more, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Voter Registration Phone Bank: The UPAS is tackling voter awareness before the general election by reaching as many families as possible. Our organizers are always looking for volunteers. If you’re interested in participating, contact the organizers here.
Virtual Engagement: On Thursday, October 1, UPAS will deliver a community-driven presentation on how community members can ensure that their voices are heard virtually by LAUSD School Board, LA City Council, and LA County Board of Supervisors. Call 213-407-4088 or email email@example.com to learn how to participate.
Vote Together: UPAS has a Vote Together Celebration, where organizers will help our community members become more familiar with the 2020 ballot through presentations and family-friendly games. You can join this event on October 22 by sending a note to firstname.lastname@example.org.