Post-Rikers Reentry Nonprofit “Getting Out and Staying Out” (GOSO) and partners Legal Aid Society, Osborne Association, JLUSA and Cure Violence Program S.A.V.E. to host:
VOTER REGISTRATION DRIVE
in East Harlem – Friday 8/3, 10am-4pm
With special outreach to those on parole, now eligible to vote in New York
Harlem, New York City—GOSO in partnership with Legal Aid, Osborne Association, JLUSA and Stand Against Violence East Harlem (SAVE) will be holding a one-day voter registration drive on Friday, August 3 aimed at registering justice-involved individuals, including parolees. Parolees’ right to vote in New York State was granted via executive order from Governor Cuomo this past April. Advocates will be on hand to instruct community members about the new policy and educate them about their rights.
“Voting is one of the most effective ways to make one’s voice heard. At GOSO we provide tools for young people to lead productive and successful lives after involvement in the justice system, and we are committed to ensuring that our clients and all members of this community are able to participate in the democratic process. It is important that New Yorkers on parole who can now vote as well as others involved in the criminal justice system fully exercise their rights and engage in making these important decisions about local issues and the future of our city, state and nation,” said Mark L. Goldsmith, Founder, Getting Out and Staying Out (GOSO).
“Voting is a sacred right that impacts all areas of the lives of our clients, especially as it assists with their full transition into society when they are returning home,” said Anthony Posada, Supervising Attorney with the Community Justice Unit at The Legal Aid Society. “We applaud Governor Cuomo for issuing these pardons, but we want to ensure that impacted New Yorkers know full well their rights to vote and how to register, which is so often overlooked. We look forward to this event and other initiatives that empower formerly incarcerated New Yorkers with a voice at the ballot box.”
“Voting—getting involved in our elections and government—is fundamental to citizenship and community participation. The people we meet and work with each day at the Osborne Association are students and educators, employees and employers; they are children, parents, and partners; they’re heads of households, volunteers, and taxpayers,” said Christy Mathurin, Osborne Association Reset program manager and Harlem site supervisor. “They are, most importantly, members of our community. We are happy to be working with our partners to assist with voter registration, spread the word that people on probation continue to have the right to vote, and share the good news that approximately 35,000 formerly incarcerated individuals on parole have had their voting rights restored and can register now and vote in the general election this fall.”
“Voting is extremely important for people who are coming home after being incarcerated,“ said JustLeadershipUSA #CLOSErikers Community Organizer Vidal Guzman, “The state takes power from our communities when they take away our right to vote and to elect people who will hear and represent our voice. Governor Cuomo said he would change this by restoring voting rights for people who are on parole. I’m in year 3 of a 5-year parole sentence. This year, I’ll be able to vote for the first time, and I’m not the only one. There are thousands of us, and GOSO is going to work to register people on parole and educate us about our rights. Our vote is our power, but only if we actually get out there and use it.”
WHAT: VOTER REGISTRATION DRIVE to increase civic participation among previously incarcerated individuals, especially parolees. Advocates will be on hand to instruct community members about the new policy.
WHEN: Friday, August 3rd, 2018 – 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
WHERE: Outside Getting Out and Staying Out (GOSO) East Harlem
75 East 116th Street (corner of Madison & 116th) – visit www.gosonyc.org or call (212) 831-5020
About Getting Out and Staying Out (GOSO): GOSO is a leading reentry, youth and career development nonprofit organization that serves more than 2,000 justice-involved young men aged 16 to 24 citywide annually. Our goal is to help participants achieve their employment and educational goals, while avoiding further involvement in the criminal justice system. By providing access to education, employment, and counselling since 2004, GOSO has worked to level the playing field and empowered thousands of young men to gain financial independence and succeed in their communities.
About Legal Aid Society The Legal Aid Society, the nation’s oldest and largest not-for-profit legal services organization, is more than a law firm for low-income New Yorkers. It is an indispensable component of the legal, social, and economic fabric of New York City — passionately advocating for low-income individuals and families across a variety of civil, criminal and juvenile rights matters, while also fighting for legal reform.
About the Osborne Association: Since 1933, the Osborne Association has worked with currently and formerly incarcerated men, women, and children and families affected by incarceration. Osborne’s innovative, effective, and replicable programs offer a wide range of services at every point of the criminal justice system from alternatives to arrest and incarceration through community reentry, focusing on families, employment, education, and treatment. Osborne’s services in Harlem include Project Reset, an alternative to arrest program that offers eligible individuals in police precincts in Harlem, Inwood, and Washington Heights a two-hour program that, once completed, keeps participants out of jail and allows them to avoid the collateral consequences of a criminal record. Osborne programs serve the community by reducing crime and its human and economic cost and provide opportunities for reform and rehabilitation through public education, policy advocacy, and alternatives to incarceration that respect the dignity of people and honor their capacity to change. Osborne serves more than 12,000 currently and formerly incarcerated individuals and their children and families across multiple sites in New York City and the Hudson Valley and more than 30 New York State prisons and New York City jails.
About JustLeadershipUSA: JustLeadershipUSA is a national, member-driven criminal justice reform organization dedicated to cutting the correctional population in the United States in half by 2030. JLUSA believes that those closest to the problem are closest to the solution – that the people who’ve been directly impacted and harmed by the criminal legal systems in communities across the country are the same people who need to be on the front lines of the fight to reform and overhaul those systems.
About Stand Against Violence East Harlem (S.A.V.E.): S.A.V.E. utilizes the Cure Violence approach to empower high risk youth ages 16-24 to make positive changes. Cure Violence is an evidence-based public health approach to violence prevention that works with communities that have high levels of gun violence. The strategy leverages the experiences of members of the community to do outreach, including people who have been directly affected by gun violence and “violence interrupters,” young people who have formerly engaged in high-risk activities who act as credible messengers of an anti-violence message in order to prevent and reduce youth violence. S.A.V.E.’s aim is to mobilize communities to change the mindset of high-risk youth, link them to supportive services and ultimately reduce shootings in East Harlem.
Maya Kremen, Geto & de Milly, Inc.
(212) 686-4551 / firstname.lastname@example.org