Get Out the Vote in Southern Arizona Kick Off



    Celebrate “National Voter Registration Day,” Tuesday, September 27, 2016 beginning at 10:00 a.m. with the Southern Arizona GOTV Campaign Kick Off Event

    “What: A powerful coalition of 24 local organizations is kicking off a Get Out The Vote (GOTV) Campaign in Southern Arizona. This coalition will work to ensure that every eligible person of voting age in Arizona is registered to vote and casts a ballot this November. Arizona has become a battle ground in the 2016 election cycle and is considered “in play” by both major political parties. We want everyone to know their vote is their voice and their voice matters.

    Where: The Southern Arizona GOTV Campaign Kick Off Event will be held at the YWCA’s Frances McClelland Community Center located at 525 N. Bonita Ave, just west of I-10 between Congress and St. Mary’s, on the western edge of downtown Tucson. There is free parking at the center. Overflow parking is available behind the building and on the street. This event is free and open to the public.

    Who: Kick Off Event speakers are
    F Ann Rodriguez-Pima County Recorder
    Andy Silverman- Civil Rights Restoration Clinic
    Sandy Ochoa- Mi Familia Vota

    Get Out the Vote Southern Arizona Coalition partners who will be represented at the event include: AAUW Casas Adobes &Tucson Branches, Arizona’s Children Association, Black Women’s Task Force, Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona, Grace Temple MBC, Inter-Denominational Ministerial Alliance, League of Women Voters of Greater Tucson, Literacy Connects, Mi Familia Vota, Mt. Calvary Missionary Baptist Church Social Justice Committee, My Girl Power Project, NAACP, Pima Community College Adult Ed. Civics/Student Leadership Program, Pima Council on Aging, Pima County Inter-faith Council, Pima County Interfaith Council & Education Organization, Tucson Interfaith HIV/AIDS, Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Tucson Metro Chamber, Tucson Urban League, Tucson/Pima Women’s Commission, YMCA of Southern Arizona, YWCA of Southern Arizona, Civil Rights Restoration Clinic, Rogers College of Law, University of Arizona

    Why: Studies and polls show the number one reason people give for not voting is the belief their vote doesn’t matter. The focus of our Kick Off Event and GOTV literature will be past close races in our own backyard, highlighting how the outcomes of voting at national, and especially state and local levels, impact the life of every voter and non-voter. Arizona is being taken seriously as a battle ground state by national political parties this November. We want people in Southern Arizona to take our role and our responsibility seriously, too. This GOTV campaign partnership was convened by the League of Women Voters but it represents a wide diversity and significant breadth across our area. Each partner is implementing its own strategy to accomplish the campaign’s ultimate shared objective for Southern Arizona: To increase the number of people voting, ensuring that the voice of each individual in our community is heard.”

    Media Contacts: Betsy Bolding | | 520-327-7652 and Valerie Denogean | | 520-884-7810.

    Social Media: Follow our page, Get Out the Vote Southern Arizona @GOTVSoAZ, on Facebook.

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    Carolyn Classen
    Carolyn Sugiyama Classen, a life long Democrat, was born & raised in the State of Hawaii, was a Legislative Aide for U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye on Capitol Hill, and practiced law for a while. In Tucson she worked as a tribal staff attorney for the Pascua Yaqui Tribe and later was the Interim Executive Director of the now defunct Domestic Violence Commission. In 2008 she became a “My Tucson” guest columnist for the Tucson Citizen newspaper, then continued blogging for for over four and a half years. Her blogsite was entitled “Carolyn’s Community” about community events and some political news, until Gannett Publishing shut down the site on January 31, 2014. She started with Blog for Arizona on Feb. 11, 2014. Part time she has been sitting as a Hearing Officer in Pima County Consolidated Justice Courts Small Claims Division since April, 2005. She is married to University of Arizona Distinguished Professor Albrecht Classen, a native of Germany. They have one son, who lives in Seattle, WA with his wife and daughter. She is also the Editor of the Southern Arizona Japanese Cultural Coalition website, (since Jan. 2013).


    1. About 50 people (mostly women) at this GOTV event this morning to emphasize the importance of voting in the upcoming General Election. Kelly Fryer, CEO of the YWCA welcomed everyone, stating that women composed 53% of the registered voters in America, with Black Women having the highest voter turnout over age 18. F. Ann Rodriguez, Pima County Recorder said that there were now 524,000 registered voters in Pima county, with 335,000 on the PEVL (permanent early voter list). She is always trying to increase voter turnout (%). Law Prof. Andy Silverman spoke of those felons who had “paid their debt to society”. Under AZ law if you complete sentence after conviction of one felony, your civil rights are restored, but not after that (two or more felonies),you will have to petition for restoration with their Clinic. Sandy Ochoa of Mi Familia Vota said she has been registered people to vote for a long time, emphasizing education to high school students as they are the future voters.Her lead canvasser Amadeus Toledo said that “the election has an impact on all lives”. Freda Johnson of LWVGT said it was an “honor” to be at this event with all the coalition groups, proud of the work being done to register voters. Doris Snowden of NAACP said they are registering voters at churches and bars (laughter). Kevin Courtney of Pima County Interfaith Council announced a Bilingual Accountability Session on Oct. 2nd (see our Calendar), with candidates running for CD 2, LD 2, LD 9 and Pima County Supervisor District 3.

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