together we can

We are safe, just, and engaged

We CAN be safe, just, & engaged! We CAN be safe, just, & engaged! We CAN be safe, just, & engaged! We CAN be safe, just, & engaged! We CAN be safe, just, & engaged! We CAN be safe, just, & engaged! We CAN be safe, just, & engaged! We CAN be safe, just, & engaged! We CAN be safe, just, & engaged! We CAN be safe, just, & engaged! We CAN be safe, just, & engaged! We CAN be safe, just, & engaged! We CAN be safe, just, & engaged! We CAN be safe, just, & engaged! We CAN be safe, just, & engaged! We CAN be safe, just, & engaged! We CAN be safe, just, & engaged! We CAN be safe, just, & engaged! We CAN be safe, just, & engaged! We CAN be safe, just, & engaged! We CAN be safe, just, & engaged! We CAN be safe, just, & engaged! We CAN be safe, just, & engaged! We CAN be safe, just, & engaged! We CAN be safe, just, & engaged! We CAN be safe, just, & engaged! We CAN be safe, just, & engaged! We CAN be safe, just, & engaged! We CAN be safe, just, & engaged! We CAN be safe, just, & engaged! We CAN be safe, just, & engaged! We CAN be safe, just, & engaged! We CAN be safe, just, & engaged! We CAN be safe, just, & engaged! We CAN be safe, just, & engaged! We CAN be safe, just, & engaged! We CAN be safe, just, & engaged! We CAN be safe, just, & engaged! We CAN be safe, just, & engaged! We CAN be safe, just, & engaged! We CAN be safe, just, & engaged! We CAN be safe, just, & engaged! We CAN be safe, just, & engaged! We CAN be safe, just, & engaged! We CAN be safe, just, & engaged! We CAN be safe, just, & engaged! We CAN be safe, just, & engaged! We CAN be safe, just, & engaged! We CAN be safe, just, & engaged! We CAN be safe, just, & engaged! We CAN be safe, just, & engaged! We CAN be safe, just, & engaged!

Make a difference where you...

live

  • Get to know your neighbors. Be present in your neighborhood. Take walks and sit on your front porch. Introduce yourself to neighbors and make a point of learning the names of the people in your neighborhood.
  • Vote early and vote often.
  • Make volunteering a family affair or do a project with neighbors. United We Serve provides ideas for getting started.
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  • Host a candidate forum in your neighborhood.
  • Put out “Vote” signs to remind neighbors to vote.
  • Take your children with you when you vote.
  • Join your neighborhood association and be involved in your neighborhood.
  • Become a deputized registrar and register people to vote.
  • Remind family and friends to vote.
  • Use social media to announce to family and friends that you have voted.
  • Share information about early voting and vote centers.
  • Facilitate regular “porch chats” with immediate neighbors to share observations, discuss issues in the neighborhood and identify ideas for change.
  • Start a neighborhood e-news letter or email group to share information.
  • Get to know the law enforcement officers who patrol your neighborhood and invite them to share information on safety at neighborhood meetings and on neighborhood email lists. Travis County Sheriff’s Office Neighborhood Outreach Unit; Austin Police Department Community Liaison Office
  • Follow rules and laws, and model this behavior for your children. Let them know that voting is one way we change laws we don’t like. Rules exist in our homes, in our schools, and in our community. Explore with children the consequences of breaking rules and ideas for how to change rules you think are unfair.
  • Create opportunities for youth in the neighborhood to help out. They will feel a sense of “ownership” when they see the results of their trash pick up, or helping an older neighbor take care of their yard. Get to know the youth in your neighborhood. Communicate the good things you see them doing.
  • Help ex-offenders become role models to show the effect of illegal behavior and the benefit of transforming one’s life. Host events where they can share their story.
  • Reach out to people who have previously been involved in the criminal justice system. Welcome them back to the community and let them know you support them.
  • Celebrate and explore with your children and older relatives your own heritage, family history, and background. Even older relatives with failing memories will often enjoy sharing stories of their childhood and early life.
  • Respect each person’s differences and seek out diversity.
  • Practice and teach empathy. Empathy is an important part of brain development. It is the ability to understand the feelings of others and how your actions can make people feel better or worse. Tips on developing pro-social behaviors in young children can be found at http://www.zerotothree.org/.

learn

  • Help hold a "mock election" at your child's school.
  • Teach and practice empathy.
  • Celebrate diverse cultures and the richness they bring to our lives.
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  • Teach children that voting is a right and a responsibility. Extracurricular group activities offer a perfect opportunity to talk about why voting is important.
  • Offer to help your elementary school or middle school with a “mock” election. Check out the Texas Secretary of State’s Project V.O.T.E (Voters of Tomorrow through Education) curriculum for kindergarten through 12th grades.
  • Discuss issues and candidates with your colleagues and fellow students. Respectfully share and listen to opinions and encourage people to vote.
  • Become a volunteer deputy voter registrar and register people to vote on your college campus.
  • Share voting information. Notify colleagues and fellow students about voter registration, early voting, vote centers, candidates and issues. Travis County Clerk’s Elections Office ; Austin League of Women Voters.
  • Use social media to share voting information and to encourage others to vote.
  • Make voting an outing. Let friends, classmates or fellow faculty members know when you plan to vote and follow it up with lunch, coffee or dinner.
  • Proudly wear your “I Voted” sticker to class or to your child’s school.
  • Celebrate diverse cultures. Meet and engage with people who are different from you. Be curious and learn about their background, history and customs. UNESCO provides a toolkit for celebrating diverse cultures through sharing customs, music, food, art, and cultural perspectives.
  • Eliminate labels, categories, or classifications that do not raise everyone up. The Arc suggests using “people first” language when referring to people with different abilities. We are each a unique conglomeration of races, cultures, backgrounds and experiences. This diversity enriches our schools and lives.
  • Teach empathy to children. Empathy, the ability to understand other people’s feelings, is an important part of brain development. Seeds of Empathy has tips for early child care settings. Roots of Empathy provides ideas for developing empathy in older children and young adults.

work

  • Take time off to vote! Ask your human resources department or management to remind employees that the law allows them to take time off to vote. Details can be found at The Texas Workforce Commission.
  • Seek out diversity in your workplace. Invite people with backgrounds, viewpoints and perspectives different from your own into conversations, work groups and strategy sessions.
  • Don't make criminal history an automatic barrier to employment.
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  • Hold a candidates forum. Organize nonpartisan candidate forums at your place of employment. The League of Women Voters has easy steps and guidelines to help.
  • Post voter information in public work spaces. Use bulletin boards, company e-mail, and social media to share non-partisan election guides and information about registration and voting. Information is accessible through The League of Women Voters.
  • Inform co-workers via email about upcoming elections, voting locations and early voting.
  • Let co-workers know when you plan to vote and make an outing of it. Organize a carpool and follow it up with lunch or an after-work gathering.
  • Proudly wear your “I Voted” sticker to work.
  • Ask your employer to re-evaluate criminal history background checks for employment. Must it lead to automatic disqualification? What is the context? When was the offense and what was the outcome?
  • Register people to vote. In order to vote, people must be registered 30 days prior to an election. Become a deputy registrar and register people at your workplace to vote.
  • Cultural diversity assessment and training. Encourage your place of employment to conduct a cultural diversity assessment and cultural competency training for all staff. Community Advancement Network (CAN) has resources and information.
  • Partner with a school to provide mentors or after-school activities. Allow space and flexibility for employees to serve as positive role models to youth.
  • Coordinate a group volunteer activity for your workplace. Look for opportunities to work in low-opportunity neighborhoods and get to know each other and your community better.

serve

  • Use social media to raise voter awareness among clients, members, staff and board members.
  • Seek out diversity in your membership, staff, volunteers and board of directors.
  • Welcome people who are reentering the community after incarceration.
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  • Encourage a culture of voting. Work with your nonprofit to actively educate and encourage clients, staff and board members to vote.
  • Ask 10 people you know to commit to vote, and have them ask ten others to do the same.
  • Remind people over 65 and those who are disabled that they can vote by mail. The Travis County Elections Clerk has more information.
  • Invite diverse voices into the conversation. Seek out diversity in your organization’s membership, volunteers and board of directors. CAN’s Cultural Competence, Diversity, and Inclusion website has resources to help.
  • Reach out to people who are reentering the community. Welcome people who are returning to the community after incarceration into your group. Invite them to share their story.
  • Discuss disproportionality and equity. Invite people in your place of worship, service organization or non-profit to share ideas about what can be done to promote equity and opportunity for all people.
  • Reach out to families of incarcerated people. Provide programming for the family members and children of people who are incarcerated.
  • Provide direct services and support to low-income communities.
  • Invite and recruit minority youth to join your organization and your efforts.

"Together We CAN!" is a collaborative project of Community Advancement Network and Leadership Austin to provide practical ideas for action we can all take where we live, learn, work and serve to make our community a better place.

Site Last Modified on August 30, 2015
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