As the nation gears up for Election Day on November 8, infant and toddler advocates in North Carolina and Rhode Island are getting out the vote and helping candidates Think Babies™.
The North Carolina Early Education Coalition created an electoral advocacy toolkit with details about the election and advocacy tools. They shared it with their network and partners and hosted a webinar training on how to use the toolkit and engage during this election season with a specific focus on what nonprofits can do. Many Think Babies NC micro-grantees are hosting community events, providing voter registration information and sharing the toolkit. The Coalition is also working with 100 child care teachers in the Early Educators Advocacy Academy. In addition, they have distributed a candidate questionnaire to all candidates for the state General Assembly as well as to Congressional candidates. Responses will be posted on their website shortly after the deadline.
After successfully winning a significant expansion in access to voting in Rhode Island in 2022 in partnership with the Let RI Vote Coalition, Rhode Island’s RIght from the Start Campaign Steering Committee is getting the word out to parents, advocates, early childhood program staff, and the general public. They are sharing information including deadlines for voter registration, how to request and submit mail-in-ballots, and the process to participate in early voting for both the primary and the general elections. They continue to work with the Let RI Vote Coalition to push for same day voter registration. In addition, the Committee drafted policy and budget priorities for 2023 in July, several months earlier than usual, and released them as a Rhode Island Candidate’s Guide in English and Spanish to all candidates running for Governor, General Assembly, and Rhode Island’s Congressional District 2. Three weeks before the primary election, the Campaign partnered with a large children’s service agency to host a Gubernatorial Forum on Early Childhood Policy where they got candidates on record supporting many of their top policy priorities. The Steering Committee also offered to meet with candidates over video calls to discuss priorities in the run up to the general election.