Elections and Advocacy -- Make Your Voice Count


October 24, 2016

On November 8th, California voters once again go to the polls, choosing elected officials from local mayors to President of the United States. There are also many initiatives on the ballot that will directly impact life here in the Inland Empire. The GRID IE team encourages you to be an informed voter and become familiar with the various measures on the ballot as well as candidate positions on issues facing Californians today. 

The Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice (CCAEJ), who partnered with GRID IE on several projects, are strong advocates for improving environmental health in the Inland Empire.  Penny Newman, Executive Director of CCAEJ, believes voting is one of the keys to changing public policy. “With the changing demographics in the Inland Empire, there is no better time for those in long neglected communities to voice their concerns and be heard,” commented Ms. Newman. 

Another frequent partner of GRID in the Inland Empire is Habitat for Humanity Riverside. The Habitat team has connected us with many homeowners and regularly supports our programs, such as Troops to Solar and Solar Futures.  Kathy Michalak, Habitat for Humanity Riverside’s Executive Director, is a consistent advocate for fair housing policy and recognizes the power voting offers those in disadvantaged communities. “Habitat’s mission revolves around building community,” she said. “Voting is the best way to impact how our community evolves.”  

If you are unsure about voting this year, remember there have been several elections in U.S. history where the outcome was determined by just a few votes. In 2008, an Alaskan congressional race was decided by a single vote out of 10,035.  A New Hampshire Senate race was decided in 1974 by two votes out of 223,363.  GRID IE encourages you to be both an advocate of worthy causes and to exercise your right to vote. As Ms. Newman states, “Research the ballot measures and candidates and choose wisely, but vote.  Your voice doesn’t count unless you vote on November 8th.”