Community Health Centers in Contra Costa and Solano Counties are now offering patients the opportunity to register to vote and to receive information on the voting process as a service to the community. As non-profit organizations, La Clínica de La Raza, Brookside Community Health Center, LifeLong Medical Care, and Planned Parenthood Shasta Pacific offer non-partisan voter registration and education as part of their commitment to help staff and clients become more engaged in their community.
Why health centers are registering voters:
This effort is part of Community Health Vote 2012; a national initiative started in 2008 by the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) to establish permissible, nonpartisan voter engagement activities -- voter registration, voter education, and get-out-the-vote (GOTV) in the low-income, medically underserved communities served by health centers across America.
Voter engagement is a natural extension of community health centers’ long time bi-partisan grassroots advocacy mission, and is consistent with the founding purpose of being leaders in improving the life and well-being of their communities. By integrating voter registration into the daily activities and highlighting the importance of voting, health centers hope to help patients and communities be more informed and civically engaged.
How it works:
When patients check-in for their appointment, they have the opportunity to register to vote. Completing a voter registration application takes just a few minutes, and the Health Center collects and submits completed forms to the Secretary of State’s office as a courtesy to patients and community members.
The deadline to register to vote in the upcoming June Primary Election is May 21st. To register, individuals must be a U.S. citizen, at least 18 years old by Election Day, and a resident of California.
The importance of community health centers:
Brookside, La Clínica, LifeLong, and Planned Parenthood provide comprehensive, high-quality primary and reproductive health care services to residents of Contra Costa and Solano Counties. They offer services at affordable prices for the uninsured and medically underserved. According to 2010 Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD) data, community health centers recorded approximately 280,000 patient encounters in Contra Costa and Solano Counties.
Why your vote matters!
- One vote can and often does matter in election outcomes
- If you don’t vote, you give someone else the power to affect your life and the lives of your family.
- If you don’t vote, you double the value of someone else’s vote.
- When you vote, you send a signal to whoever gets elected to pay attention to you and the needs of your health center, especially when you are a health center patient or staff member.
- Your vote is your voice in what happens in this country and the only person who can silence your voice is you.
Visit your local health center and register to vote!