Civic Activities Encourage Voter Registration

Miami Herald, The (FL)
Section: Neighbors BC
Edition: Final
Page: 49MB

Miami Dade College kicked off a busy schedule of civic-minded activities to promote voter registration among thousands of students as they attended their first day of classes on Wednesday. School and government officials joined representatives from Mi Familia Vota, MTV's Choose or Lose and the Green Family Foundation, to pump up the volume on civic engagement and electoral participation among students.

Mi Familia Vota national director and community leader Jorge Mursuli and Miami Dade College Wolfson Campus President Rolando Montoya stood alongside MDC student leaders to celebrate the launch of Civic Engagement Month, a college-wide campaign for youth and minority empowerment through civic involvement, voter registration and participation. More than 100 events are planned to take place over the next five weeks as part of an effort to raise student awareness about the upcoming national elections.

Also present at this first Civic Engagement Month event was Latina singer/songwriter 16-year-old JD Natasha. Natasha also performed at the Wolfson campus on Friday in a free concert sponsored by MDC, Mi Familia Vota and the Green Family Foundation. The recently discovered Miami artist, released her first album, Imperfecta/Imperfect, on EMI LATIN July 13.

Over the next month, voter registration stations and voting machines will be in place at the Wolfson campus so students can register to vote and familiarize themselves with the operation of Miami-Dade's new voting system. Some 18 voter registration stations will be deployed throughout the college and on-site at each of the events.

MDC is partnering with MTV's Choose or Lose campaign, Mi Familia Vota and the Green Family Foundation to create a substantial voter registration drive, involving all six campuses and outreach centers, in anticipation of the elections Tuesday and the Nov. 2. The MTV Choose or Lose and Mi Familia Vota campaigns are working to address the issues of voter disenfranchisement of the 2000 elections and to increase voter participation in underrepresented populations.

MTV's national ``Choose or Lose: 20 Million LOUD'' initiative aims to get 20 million young voters 18 to 30, to the polls in November. Mi Familia Vota is a project specifically targeting Florida's Hispanic population. The Green Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting social programs that prioritize community outreach, education, the arts, disaster relief and HIV/AIDS education, among others.

For more information, call the Center for Community Involvement, 305-237-3848 or www.mdc.edu/engage