Voting Rights and Income Inequality: Seeing the Connections


Voting Rights and Income Inequality: Seeing the Connections

Greenburgh, NY (April 15, 2015), On April 30, 2015 at Greenburgh Town Hall, 177 Hillside Avenue in Greenburgh at 7:00 p.m., Westchester for Change, an all-volunteer, grassroots organization is hosting an educational forum entitled, Voting Rights and Income Inequality: Seeing the Connections. The forum is co-sponsored by: Citizen Action of New York, Community Voices Heard, Concerned Families of Westchester, Mt. Vernon United Tenants, NAACP of White Plains and Greenburgh, White Plains Democrats, and WESPAC.

 The Voting Rights Act is fifty years old this year.  Yet for all the progress of the last five decades, politicians continue to neglect many of the concerns of racial minority and lower-income voters. The 1960’s were the apex for middle class incomes and for voting rights protection.  Since the 1970’s, incomes have become stagnant relative to gains in productivity.  At the same time, voting rates have declined.  In 2014, only 28 percent of eligible voters in New York State exercised their right to vote, making New York among the states with the lowest voting participation rates in the country. See McDonald, Michael, “State Turnout Rates,” United States Elections Project, (accessed February 24, 2015). 

 This forum will explore how making voting easier in New York State may lead to economic changes, such as raising the minimum wage and other economically progressive laws, and how forum attendees can play a role.

 Westchester for Change is delighted to have two recognized experts to address these issues at this forum: Julie Ebenstein, staff attorney with the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project, and Kristina Andreotta, Deputy Organizing Director, Citizen Action of New York & Public Policy and Education Fund of New York.

 Ms. Ebenstein said, “The right to vote is the cornerstone of democracy.  Making it easier to vote is one of the goals of the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project.  I’m pleased that Westchester for Change has given me the opportunity to discuss this important topic at its forum.”

 Ms. Andreotta said, “Voting is the single most important lever of influence ordinary citizens have to express their policy preferences.  The easier it is to vote, the more likely more people will vote, the more likely legislation favorable to lower income and middle class families will pass the New York State legislature, like raising the minimum wage.  I look forward to speaking at this Westchester for Change forum.”

 Westchester for Change anticipates that several elected officials will be in attendance.

 The forum is open to the general public and free of charge.