This blog post is part of a series sharing voter registration and civic engagement tips and ideas from health center advocates. If your health center is offering voter registration and you would like to write a guest blog post, email your post to CHCVote@nachc.org.
Guest blog post by Kristie Hernandez, MPA, Manager, Legislative & Advocacy Affairs, Government Relations & Community Research Initiatives, AltaMed Health Services, located in Los Angeles, California.
AltaMed Encourages Patients to Make Their Voice Heard “My Vote, My Health… Mi Voto, Mi Salud!”
AltaMed Health Services, located in Southern California, has partnered with the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) who is leading a nationwide nonpartisan voter registration drive. In support of registering people to vote, AltaMed has committed to registering 850 eligible voters at our clinics and within the communities we serve.
AltaMed’s Government Relations team is leading the organization’s voter registration initiative, “My Vote, My Health… Mi Voto, Mi Salud.” Our efforts include registering patients, AltaMed employees, high school students and community members.
AltaMed has six months to meet our goal – October 22nd is California’s deadline to register folks for the November 6th election. However, after three months, AltaMed has registered close to 700 people to vote! With three months to go, we are well past our halfway mark. Although it hasn’t been easy, we are fine tuning our internal best practices to encourage folks to become civically engaged and make their voice heard. We are excited to encourage our patients and community members to exercise their right to vote and the potential to exceed our goal. Registration efforts have been conducted at four of our local high schools in Los Angeles and staff has also visited our AltaMed clinics in Orange and Los Angeles counties. This month we plan to visit our PACE (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly) sites to register participants to vote.
Our goals also include institutionalizing voter registration into the registration and intake process. Toward that end, we have established internal partnerships with AltaMed’s Patient Care Coordinators (PCCs) and our Health Educators to carry out our voter registration initiative. Intensive efforts to sign up our patients, employees and community members will continue until California’s voter registration deadline of October 22nd – 15 days before the election on November 6, 2012. Ongoing voter registration in clinics will continue post election throughout the year.
Staff will continue visiting medical clinic sites, our senior services program and attending health fairs and community events including registration events we will be hosting at the Anaheim Angels Stadium during the Angel’s home games.
We also incorporated voter registration events into National Health Center Week (NHCW) events, August 6th-10th. Our United States Congress Members visited our centers during this week and we hosted voter registration events at selected clinics in Los Angeles and Orange counties. We will continue to incorporate voter registration into future public events – stay tuned!