The Pacific Council believes that having a “local-to-global” mindset as a voter leads to better policy outcomes. Pandemic or not, voting is a foundational democratic right and value.
Because of this belief, over the next couple of months, we will focus on what it means to be a “local-to-global” voter through our virtual events, social media resources, volunteer opportunities, and expert commentary and analysis in our online Magazine.
A member organization dedicated to foreign policy for the past 25 years, the Pacific Council is aware of our members’ interest in being active in local policy and politics. We believe this election is an opportunity for the Council to encourage and equip members to become local-to-global voters. Why?
Civic participation by those who care about global issues leads to stronger local, national, and international leadership and better policy outcomes for Americans.
To vote is to participate in and uphold a fundamental institution of democracy that reinforces the integrity of electoral and political processes in the United States and abroad.
As part of this initiative, the Council will highlight three areas that should be important to a “local-to-global” voter:
We will know if our efforts are successful if you—our members—take the following steps this fall:
- vote in local and national elections in November;
- take into consideration the foreign policy implications when you cast a ballot for local and national leaders; and
- encourage others in your network to vote, and share with us how you are engaging around the election.
Remember: we are not going to tell you how to vote. As always, the Council will share nonpartisan, factual information that will equip you with expected outcomes based on which way the election swings—whether it’s for the next president or a California ballot initiative. The Council values global engagement, inclusion, and bipartisanship—while maintaining our status as a nonpartisan not-for-profit.
MAKE A PLAN TO VOTE
- If you haven’t done so already, register to vote, find your polling place, and, if you are in LA County, verify your address for your mail-in ballot. For language assistance, please see the resources provided by the U.S. Elections Assistance Committee.
- Also: take the Census. The Census is used to ensure there are enough polling places per precinct and that people can vote in a timely fashion. Find census resources translated into different languages here. The extended deadline for the 2020 Census is September 30.
VOLUNTEER ON ELECTION DAY
- America is facing a shortage of poll workers due to the coronavirus. Help staff your local polling place with Power the Polls, a collaborative initiative between nonprofits and businesses to help recruit and support poll workers. Ensure elections run smoothly and that every voice is counted.
- Serve as a nonpartisan Election Protection volunteer with Protect the Vote, an affiliate project of Common Cause, a nonpartisan, grassroots organization dedicated to upholding the core values of American democracy. This year, voters are expected to face unprecedented threats to voting security, and YOU can be a part of voters’ first line of defense. And learn more about the Election Protection program, which is anchored by the 866-OUR-VOTE hotline. This hotline is the nation’s largest non-partisan voter protection coalition. Interested in volunteering with election protection? Sign up here.
- Help support voter turnout! Carpool2Vote is a free public benefit provided by Women Voters USA that connects drivers with those who need a ride to the polls in November.
LEARN THE LOCAL-TO-GLOBAL IMPLICATIONS OF THE ELECTION
The Pacific Council Magazine includes articles that explore how the presidential election plus local and state ballot initiatives will affect major global issues. Read in-depth analysis from our members and staff:
- Nationalism, Isolationism, and the Future of U.S.-China Relations by Dan Schnur, professor, USC Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism and UC Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies
- A Guide to the California Ballot Measures that have Local-to-Global Implications by Justin Chapman, Communications Officer, Pacific Council on International Policy
The following organizations, both here in Los Angeles and across the country, are doing important work to support and empower communities that have historically been left out of the voting process:
- Check out Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAAJ)-Asian Law Caucus’ toolkit to impact elections, a detailed guide that includes resources and tools you can use to organize educational events, find volunteer opportunities, plus more ways to be involved this election season. AAAJ-Asian Law Caucus is the nation’s first legal and civil rights organization serving low-income Asian Pacific American communities.
- One study found that Latinos are for the first time expected to be the nation's largest racial or ethnic minority in a U.S. presidential election. Check out Voto Latino and its work on uniting and empowering the Latinx community and vote.
- Take a look at the important work Center for Asian Americans United for Self Empowerment (CAUSE) is doing in the vote initiative space to advance the political and civic empowerment of the Asian Pacific American (APA) community. CAUSE is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, nonpartisan, community-based organization.
- Check out the ways the Community Coalition is empowering the Black, Brown, Indigenous, and people of color communities in South Los Angeles through mass civic action. Community Coalition is a nonprofit organization dedicated to help transform the social and economic conditions in South LA that foster addiction, crime, violence and poverty by building a community institution that involves thousands in creating, influencing, and changing public policy.
Throughout the fall we will add to this list of helpful resources and information about how to be an effective local-to-global voter this election season:
- 100 years ago this week, suffragists won the women’s right to vote. Read the history in a special New York Times piece.
- Understand the significance of the July 6 Supreme Court ruling that states can require members of the electoral college to vote for the candidate who wins the popular vote.
- Know the U.S. history of voting rights: Voting Rights: A Short History by the Carnegie Corporation of New York.
- During the March 2020 primary elections, LA County rolled out the Voting Solutions for All People (VSAP) program in an effort to make voting more accessible to all. Check out California Common Cause’s fact sheet on VSAP for more information on the ways you can vote this November.
- Tune into the Los Angeles World Affairs Council & Town Hall's (LAWACTH) public Election Series every Tuesday at 11:00 a.m. PT until Election Day starting September 8. Topics include the Foreign Policy Stakes of the 2020 Election, Protecting the CA Vote, and more. LAWACTH is a nonpartisan organization dedicated to furthering global understanding.
- The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) has a guide to where the candidates stand on foreign policy. CFR is a nonpartisan organization dedicated to helping citizens better understand the world and the foreign policy decisions facing the U.S. and other countries.