WeCount! Civic Engagement End Of Year Report by Jewel Howard

Georgia WAND’s WeCount! program is working hard to Get Out the Vote (GOTV). Our first voter registration drive of 2019 was a huge success, collecting hundreds of voter registration cards in 13 weeks, with a total count of 363 voter registration cards — exceeding our goal by 45%.

Several canvassers did an outstanding job, helping us reach our goal. Special shoutout to Quyana Barrow, Angel Armour, and longtime dedicated canvasser, Precious Boston who did an outstanding job in maintaining a 100% accuracy rate during the entire campaign. Canvassers worked at the Opportunity ATL Job Resource Fair, Reggae Fest, and other events with Dekalb County libraries and community partner Dunbar Elementary.

For National Voter Registration Day on September 24, we helped to coordinate and participate in three counties — Fulton, Dekalb, and Burke — with Georgia WAND’s Nuclear Harm Reduction and Climate Justice Coordinator Janie Hill-Scott’s leadership. The events at Woodruff Park in Fulton County and Decatur Park were headed by ProGeorgia and included the participation by the other table partners. It included a flash mob, free food, drinks, and guest speakers, including WeCount! Coordinator Jewel Howard, who also received the VRP Team Player Award from Pro Georgia! All in all, it was a huge success, and partners were able to collectively register 1,000+ people….. Bringing our year-end total up to 1500! 

This year was not just about voter registration. We held our first Redistricting and Census town hall in Burke County at Cornerstone Church! Morgan Copeland served as Redistricting Fellow and did a wonderful job organizing and promoting the event. Guests included our own Janie Hill-Scott; Leroy Johnson, founding director of Southern Echo, with vast experience in census and redistricting in communities of color; and Trupania “Trap” Bonner, founder of the advocacy & media company Crescent City Media Group (CCMG) and creator and facilitator of the Democracy & Power Civic Engagement Institute. CCMG currently anchors the South Counts 2020 decennial Census education campaign with initiatives in Louisiana, Atlanta, Mobile and Dallas. Other guests in attendance included LaCount Bly, partnership specialist with the Census Bureau; incoming WAND board member and community advocate, Marguerite Gaines; and community elder Annie Laura Howard Stephens.

As we wrap up the last couple of months of the year, WeCount! continues our Get Out the Vote (GOTV) and Get Out the Count (GOTC) work. This year’s focus is on Fulton, Dekalb, Appling, Burke, Camden, Chatham, Dekalb, Early, Effingham, Jenkins, and Richmond counties: residents downwind and downstream from nuclear Power Plant Vogtle and the Savannah River Site nuclear weapons complex. Our goal is to hold 5700+ conversations by April 2020 — and phone bankers and canvassers have already started reaching out!

It’s been a very exciting year of civic engagement for WeCount! We wish you and your family “Happy Holidays”…and get ready for an exciting and important 2020!

For more information, please send an email to Jewel at Jewel@GeorgiaWAND.org.