A Call for Collaboration: Savannah Votes
At the center of Step Up’s work is the belief that all community members should be represented in community decision-making. Throughout history, systems have marginalized populations by reducing or preventing their participation in economic, social, and political life. Over the last ten years, the Neighborhood Leadership Academy (NLA) at Savannah State University has been Step Up’s primary method of promoting civic engagement and grassroots community organizing within low-wealth communities. The NLA brings together established and emerging leaders from diverse segments of the community to enhance their leadership skills with a focus on advocacy, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills.
In 2017, Step Up’s “Savannah Votes” initiative was created by the NLA Alumni Network. The network consists of 119 alumni, each member representing their own circles of influence and neighborhoods. Step Up secured additional funding to support a part-time voter engagement coordinator and Cierra Selby was hired to fill this role.
As a non-partisan initiative, Savannah Votes wants to ensure all Chatham County residents have the opportunity to fully exercise their political power through voting. Savannah Votes builds on the success of community organizing and offers the public grassroots voter engagement and registration drives.
Savannah Votes will build upon Step Up’s model of collaboration as the foundation of its efforts. At the nucleus of Savannah Votes is the volunteer. Collaborating with volunteers adds value, credibility and community buy-in to this kind of civic participation. In addition to the NLA Alumni Network volunteers, Savannah Votes will train community members to move the program towards its goal. Step Up will collaborate with its myriad of nonprofit and business partners at events, schools, faith communities, and businesses to meet unregistered residents where they are.
Step Up Savannah works to engage all sectors of the community to improve the economic mobility and financial stability of families in Savannah, Chatham County and in order to be successful at this, all members of our community must be at the table. Step Up is excited to expand their civic engagement efforts, starting with one voter registration card at a time.
If you would like to volunteer with Step Up’s voter engagement project, call 912-232-6747 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.