San Jose, CA (September 14) — Santa Clara County Acting Registrar Elaine Larson announced recently that ROV is now accepting proposals from community-based organizations to engage in a campaign to encourage people to register, vote, and participate in the election process.
In a Get-Together of Filipino Election Officers organized by Election Specialist Edwin Torralba on September 10, 2011 at the ROV Auditorium, Larson said that her office was able to get a grant of $400,000 to educate the voters that organizations can avail of.
The outreach fund, according to Larson, will be utilized to enlist the participation of non-profit and other community-based organizations to participate in the education process. They, however, have to submit their proposals to ROV so they will be awarded the project.
Larson encouraged as many people and organizations as possible to join the outreach campaign in the light of two upcoming big elections — the June primary and the November presidential elections.
Philip Chantri, also from the Registar of Voters who developed the training program for election officers, reiterated the plea of his boss for community-based organizations, such as the Bayanihan Movement, Inc., to participate in the outreach program.
BMI Executive Director Evangeline “Angel” Valbuena explained, in her comments before the election officers, that one of the four service areas of her orgnization is people’s voting power. She explained that their services range from voter registration, volunteer work at the polls, to voter assistance.
For his part, Milpitas City Mayor Jose Esteves, a former election officer since 1980, said that voting is a primary duty of US citizens that people need to understand. “As a citizen, it is our primary obligation and responsibility to make sure that we vote and others vote themselves. As election officers, it is not the money we are after but the motive as election officers with responsiblity. It is our responsibility to vote and to reach out to everybody”, Estves said.
Sarah Gonzales, Executive Director of the Filipino Youth Coalition (FYC), which is receiving grants from the county for its services to the youth, said that FYC’s focus is on anti-gang prevention and intervention. They are looking at their involvement in the election prices as part of the organization’s contribution to the community and at the same time making the youth’s time productive.
Torralba thanked all the election officers and members of the organizations who attended the get-together for their commitment to the cause of the Registrar of Voters in Santa Clara County.