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“The work we are doing here in Cincinnati is very important because no other organization is out getting low-income communities involved in the political process,” says LaNisha Martin, 24, who is spearheading the League’s get-out-the-vote campaign in Ohio. “We are going to the most violent areas of Cincinnati registering voters and hope to get 5,000 people of color registered by the November election.”
“Having the League of Young Voters in Cincinnati is a great opportunity for youth who usually get shut out in the world a chance to have a voice in their community and develop themselves as leaders, and at the same time make a change in their communities.” said Shiloh Maloney, longtime Elementz participant and League Organizer.
Of the nearly 200,000 voters registered in Cincinnati, 45.7% are African American and 38.8% are between the ages of 18 and 35. This does not include voters the League plans to add to the rolls. The vote in Ohio is expected to be close; In 2008, Barack Obama won 51.50 percent of Ohio’s popular vote, only 4.59% more than John McCain.
“If young African American voters turn out in huge numbers, it will demonstrate to elected officials in Cincinnati that they need to address the needs of the city’s youth of color if they want to stay in office; that means they can’t continue to ignore the lack of jobs and youth programs that has led to increased crime and drop out rates throughout the city.”, says Lanisha Martin. When the League’s youth organizers move into 2013 and begin to organize around the issues affecting their community, they won’t just be a group of passionate youth, but a group of youth organizers who have demonstrated their ability to mobilize a significant segment of the voting population in Cincinnati.
Live in Cincinnati? Get involved! For answers to your Ohio voting questions, text “OhioVote” to 69866. To volunteer with the Ohio League of Young Voters, text “VolOhio” to 69866. For regular Ohio voting updates, follow @OhioLeague on Twitter and visit www.facebook.com/ohyoungvoters. For additional information about the Ohio League of Young Voters, visit www.youngvoter.org/oh or call 513-549-7129.