The 2012 presidential election is less than 40 days away!
On November 6th, we decide the direction the country will move towards and who we want to lead us. But the only way you can partake in this decision is if you vote, and the only way you can vote is if you are registered.
In 2008, 6 million Americans didn’t vote because they missed a registration deadline or didn’t know how to register, according to NationalVoterRegristrationDay.org. This year, the deadline is October 12. Don’t miss out.
In order to make sure minorities and young people are empowered to exercise their right to vote, volunteers, celebrities, and organizations from around the country hit the streets for National Voter Registration Day (NVRD) on September 25th.
GlobalGrind had the opportunity to speak with actress/activist Rosario Dawson for an exclusive interview while she was campaigning for voter registration in New York at the Youth Voter Registration Jam held at Lehman College in the Bronx. The event was co-sponsored by her nonprofit Voto Latino, a grassroots organization that empowers American Latinos to claim a better future by voting, which she founded herself in 2004. Voto Latino has over 1100 national partners and has sponsored over 900 events on National Voter Registration Day alone.
The Latina beauty was very excited to talk to GlobalGrind about the passion that lead her to start Voto Latino and the legacy she hopes to leave behind. She admitted that she registered to vote when she was 25, but that she has a profound respect for those that fought and died so that all citizens would have the right to vote back in the Civil Rights era.
“It’s an honor and a right and a privilege to vote and to recognize the work that came before me,” she said.
Rosario stressed that voting is just as important as protesting or rallying behind a cause.
“It’s wonderful to march, and it’s wonderful to come together and yell and scream about the issues that we care about, but if we’re not occupying the voting booths, it’s not going to translate.”
The Sin City actress continued:
“How many of these marches and these things that you’re a part of you don’t see in the news later, but what you do see is how many people voted. And if you don’t vote, then you’re not a part that of that history.”
“Years from now people are going to look back and go, ‘You were alive then, what did you do about it?’ And what are you going to say? Nothing? That’s not really the story I want to be telling. That’s not the legacy that I want to seek and enrich and honor for my predecessors who came before me.”
Empowering people to vote is very important to Rosario and she wants it to become a part of her legacy:
“This is our opportunity to write down our story and tell the world what it is that we care about, what our values are and we have a lot of power, so let’s use it together.”
I’m a big fan of being the change that I want to see in the world, so that is why I am registered, that is why I am registering other folks.”
Lastly, she urged young people to do one thing:
“Please do not let your silence be louder than your vote. Vote!”
A native New Yorker, the Rent star says that getting people to vote in New York is hard because “people feel like it’s a blue state; my vote doesn’t count.”
Rosario’s passion leads us every step of the way to give hope to the hopeless and a voice to the voiceless.
Check out Voto Latino here!