Seattle Foundation and King County Elections announce Voter Education Fund grants
30 nonprofits receive funds to increase voter engagement
June 09, 2017
We are pleased to announce the recipients of $435,000 in Voter Education Fund grants with our partners at King County Elections. These funds, part of our Vibrant Democracy Initiative, will help increase voter engagement in communities that are historically underrepresented in the democratic process.
Thirty community-based organizations are receiving funding to offer basic education about voting in King County and technical assistance, such as helping voters complete a voter registration form.
“Our democracy truly thrives when everyone participates, and participating through voting is one of our nation’s highest values,” said Tony Mestres, president and CEO of Seattle Foundation. “The recipients of these Voter Education Funds represent diverse communities and work to engage those communities in the most important part of being a citizen: using their voice.”
Funded organizations represent a broad range of historically underserved communities across King County.
“I’m thrilled with the diversity of organizations being funded this year and the exciting plans to support voting in their communities,” said Julie Wise, Director of King County Elections. “We’re committed to improving voting access, especially in what is an important local election year for King County.”
2017 Voter Education Fund Award Recipients
• Asian Counseling and Referral Services
• Council on American-Islamic Relations-Washington (CAIR-WA)
• Coalition of Immigrants, Refugees, and Communities of Color (CIRCC)
• Eritrean Association of Greater Seattle
• Ethiopian Community in Seattle
• Hearing, Speech & Deaf Center (HSDC)
• International Community Health Services (ICHS)
• Ingersoll Gender Center
• Institute for Community Leadership
• Interim CDA
• Kent Black Action Commission
• Korean American Coalition
• LGBTQ Allyship
• Longhouse Media
• Mothers For Police Accountability
• Na'ah Illahee Fund
• Nsanga Corporation
• Open Doors for Multicultural Families
• Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness
• Skyway Solutions
• Somali Community Services of Seattle
• Somali Youth & Family Club
• South Park Information and Resource Center (SPIARC)
• Washington Bus
• Washington Community Action Network Education and Research Fund
• White Center Community Development Association
• Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience
One grantee, Longhouse Media, plans to use their award to engage Native youth in the civic process.
"It’s imperative that Indigenous people, especially the youth, are invited to vote and made to feel that their voices matter to the future of our communities,” said Tracy Rector, Executive Director of Longhouse Media.
Another recipient, The Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness, plans to use the funding to ensure that our region’s impoverished citizens have needed information to vote.
“For people who are homeless, exercising the right and responsibility to vote can be complicated and discouraging, but in our democracy, where you live and how much money you have should not affect whether you can vote,” said Alison Eisinger, executive director of the organization.
The Voter Education Fund was created after a successful pilot to engage communities that speak a language other than English. In 2016, King County Elections and Seattle Foundation awarded $224,000 in grants to community-based organizations that reached 27,000 limited-English-speaking voters across King County.
The next Voter Education Fund grant cycle will be in Spring 2018. For more information, contact Jonathan Cunningham at firstname.lastname@example.org or 206.515.2107