“What do you have to lose?” Presidential candidate Donald Trump’s question, posed to African American voters in a speech at the end of August, loops in my mind like a commercial jingle. However, I don’t want it out of my head. On the eve of the first debate, and less than two months before the presidential election, I’m focused on one critical response:
No matter your political party or candidate of choice, you could lose everything if you don’t exercise your right to vote, regardless of your race or ethnicity.
I know, “everything” sounds extreme. But our ability to vote represents our values, policies, beliefs, and, most importantly, is the foundation of our democracy. It’s woven into the very fabric of what it means to be an American, and voting is a great equalizer.
No matter who you are, there’s equality in the power of voting. One voice. One vote.
That’s why Harlem United is launching a campaign to help ensure that as many people as possible in our Harlem United community are registered to vote and are empowered with information to help them make the best choice for themselves and their families.
Our campaign begins today in partnership with the historic Apollo Theater’s Uptown Hall Presidential Debate Watch. We’ve invited 40 Harlem United clients, as well as youth from Jack and Jill, to join us. We will watch the debate to learn where the candidates stand and also will express our voices during an interactive panel discussion before the debate begins.
On Tuesday, September 27, our campaign continues in celebration of National Voter Registration Day. From 10:00 AM until 5:00 PM Harlem United staff, clients, and volunteers will help people register to vote at the northeast intersection of 125th Street and Lenox Avenue. Whether you need to register to vote for the first time, change your address, or have any other questions, we’ll be there to help ensure your voice is heard on Election Day.
Please join us this evening at the Apollo Uptown Hall Presidential Debate Watch and tomorrow at 125th and Lenox to register to vote. And join the conversation with us on social media. New Yorkers can also visit the Voting NYC homepage to register to vote and learn about their voting rights.