Initiative for Engaged Citizenship Kickoff tonight

The IEC will have their kickoff tonight 5:30pm-7:30pm at Viva Bene (144 Commercial Street).  They were recently featured on 508.

I’ll be there.

From the press release:


For one local group, low voter turnout should not be viewed as a sign of disinterest, but rather a call to action. The Initiative for Engaged Citizenship- a nonpartisan and nonprofit voter mobilization and civic education advocacy organization-will outline its plans to empower residents across the city to go to the polls and become more engaged in their communities on August 17th from 5:30pm-7:30pm at Viva Bene (144 Commercial Street). District Attorney Joseph Early, Jr. will be the featured guest at the event. The host committee includes community organizers, educators, civic advocates, and a former city council candidate.


The Initiative was founded in 2009 by Jennifer Davis Carey with the purpose of hosting seminars and workshops across the city to provide individuals with the information necessary to pursue their own community engagement projects. This year the Initiative merged with the Coalition for Educated Options (CEO)- a growing association of 20+ nonprofits and neighborhood groups focused on increasing turnout in historically low participating areas of the city. David LeBoeuf, a coordination committee member of CEO, currently serves as the Initiative’s Executive Director.


“The Initiative is working to educate, inform, and collaborate with community and government partners so that our local elections are venues for empowerment,” LeBoeuf said, “Our city is stronger when more residents are at the table and engaged in the process.” For this municipal election cycle, the Initiative is focused on coordinating and consolidating community outreach efforts across the city, building a quasi-campaign structure so that more individuals can be reached. At the Kick Off, members will discuss more about the organization’s upcoming “Rethink Voting, Rethink Worcester” media campaign, universal candidate questionnaire, district conversations, and candidate forums driven by resident questions.


In addition to Carey and LeBoeuf the event is also being hosted by Kola Akindele, Maureen Binienda, Patricia Mallios, Rev. Linda Parham, and Jennifer Roy. “I became involved in the Initiative because I believe everyone deserves to have their voices heard, but may not necessarily have the skills or information to do so. The Initiative provides this,” said Akindele, who also serves as the organization’s board chairman. In addition to get out the vote activities, The Initiative is organizing a series of workshops covering issues such as neighborhood advocacy, capacity building, and the mechanics of government.


The Initiative for Engaged Citizenship does not endorse candidates. Contributions will be gladly accepted at the Kick Off and all donations are tax deductible. The Initiative promotes 5 actions to empower Worcester’s 5 Districts including the coordination of community outreach efforts to increase voter turnout, providing individuals and organizations with the skills and information necessary to advocate in their community, steering dialogue to encourage inclusivity, accessibility, and discredit bias, community based participatory research that encourages greater resident involvement, and action based civics education to empower our youth.

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