Dartmouth North residents launch SPEAK UP. SHOW UP. campaign to increase voter turn out
This Friday staff and community members from Dartmouth North Community Food Centre will launch an eight-week campaign aimed at increasing community awareness and participation in the upcoming municipal election. A slate of weekly Speak Up. Show Up. events is planned, starting with a Voter Pop-Up this Friday and culminating in a Voting Party on Election Day, Saturday, October 15.
Dartmouth North holds one third of the votes for District 6, yet voting rates are 8 to 9 times lower than the rest of the area. In the last by-election not a single ballot was cast in two Dartmouth North polls where more than 1,000 voters live.
“There are a lot of reasons people don’t vote,” says Tammy Shields, Community Action Coordinator, Dartmouth North Community Food Centre. “We hope to address some of those issues by making voting easier and more accessible and creating opportunities to talk about why everyone’s voice matters.”
The activities are being organized by the first graduates of the Dartmouth North Community Food Centre’s Community Peer Advocate program. The group completed 11 weeks of training before being hired as volunteer peer advocates who help connect people with services and resources and organize opportunities to act on issues that matter locally. The group includes a community food centre staff member and summer student.