This summer the Reclaim Our Vote (ROV) initiative will award grants to social justice groups throughout the nation via its 2007 National Critical Response Fund.
The focus areas for funding will be Colorado and Louisiana. In Colorado, we will partner with our member foundation, the Chinook Fund.
Colorado was selected for several reasons. In 2004, it was one of the ten closest states in the race for presidency and will be very competitive next year. Republican incumbent Sen. Allard has already declared that he is not running for reelection. This open seat will be one of the most closely contested in the country and has already attracted a field of strong candidates.
Colorado has one of the fastest growing Latino populations in the U.S. More than one third of Denver’s population is Latino, and Latinos comprise 20% of the state population. We’ve also chosen Colorado because it has the second largest nonprofit association in the country, which will be active in 2008 to use nonprofits to galvanize low-income voters and voters of color.
We will also make grants in Louisiana. This state was last in the nation in voter turnout in 2006, so there’s a strong need to support groups working in the field of voter engagement. This year there is a key race to replace outgoing Gov. Kathleen Blanco. The future of rebuilding Louisiana is at stake. There is also a Secretary of State race and the turnout will shape who gets to run in future elections in Louisiana. In 2008, Democratic U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu is up for reelection. This race is predicted to be very close. Louisiana also has a strong nonprofit association working for social change.
Reclaim Our Vote will continue to fund voter engagement and voting rights work in Pennsylvania and Georgia.