Access Strategies Fund has been a strong financial supporter of voter engagement campaigns since its inception. Currently, we support two major voter engagement initiatives:
Massachusetts Voter Education Network (MassVOTE)manages The Civic Engagement Initiative and works to promote a culture of active political participation by providing civic organizations the tools they need to organize, register, and educate voters, with an emphasis on historically disenfranchised communities. MassVOTE builds civic coalitions to advocate for democracy reforms that make the electoral process more accountable and accessible to all people.
For over ten years, the Civic Engagement Initiative has significantly increased non-partisan voter registration and voter turn-out in communities of color and low-income communities in Massachusetts. With funding from Access and other partner charitable foundations, MassVOTE has worked with hundreds of community-based organizations in Boston, Chelsea, and now state-wide to organize their communities to vote by connecting elections to policy issues that voters care about, using technology to touch voters many times during an election, and turning out voters to the polls.
The Massachusetts Voter Engagement Table is the coordinated statewide 501(c)3 vehicle to empower nonpartisan progressive movement building that increases the share of the vote that comes from the “Rising Massachusetts Electorate,” comprised of people of color, low-income people, women and youth. The Table has engaged 54 partner organizations in collaborative strategic planning and cost-effective issue and voter engagement campaign execution. This work covered 250 target precincts in 12 cities across the Commonwealth during the November 2012 Presidential elections. The Table has now turned its attention to building the capacity for grassroots power around issue campaigns and other local and state elections.