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Staff Snapshots: Getting out the vote

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In the spirit of the upcoming Election Day (Nov. 8, 2022), we asked UC staff to share why voting is important to them and how they’re helping to get out the vote. Meet our colleagues — passionate voters who are helping others to make their voices heard.

Heather ArroyoHeather Arroyo

Health Information Coder, Physicians’ Billing Office, UCLA Health

  • How are you helping to get out the vote?
    I get out the vote as a member of Vote Forward, a non-partisan group that identifies registered voters who have not been casting ballots. It’s super easy: I choose how many letters to send, print the template and share why I vote. Then I address the envelopes and everyone sends them on a pre-selected date. The goal is just to get people to vote. It is apolitical, just voter-to-voter on why it’s important to participate.
  • Why are you interested in helping other people vote? 
    Because I think a democracy is strong only with active participation by as much of the eligible population as possible.
  • Why do you vote? I vote because I believe that if we don’t exercise this right, we are at risk of losing it.

Karen HedgesKaren Hedges

Deputy Director, Campus Life, UCLA Student Affairs

  • How are you helping to get out the vote?
    One of my duties at UCLA is to ensure we get out the vote! I work with many people across campus to ensure we have voting centers, a vote-by-mail drop box and an informative webpage. Additionally, I work with student leaders who oversee student engagement through BruinsVote! This group works hard on creating and pushing social engagement, voter registration and way-finding on the election days. This year, a new opportunity has come up and I get to partner with a UCLA research team. The team has created a new voter-mobilization platform designed by UCLA researchers called GrowVotes. GrowVotes enables anyone to declare their intention to vote and then use their phone to organize others to do the same. Its tagline is: “With GrowVotes, it takes 22 seconds to start multiplying your impact in ‘22.” This is very exciting because it is finally brining gamification to the GOTV efforts.
  • Why are you interested in helping other people vote? 
    I have vivid memories of myself as a young girl walking around my neighborhood with my mother, handing out flyers and knocking on doors to get out the vote. The importance of voting was taught to me early on. All elected officials have power and all citizens have needs. By voting, you are stating your needs and, ideally, electing someone to yield their power towards your needs. It is important to help others understand why we vote, how to vote and to educate them on the ballot — the whole ballot!
  • Why do you vote?
    I vote because I can! I vote because I have needs and those in power need to know it. I vote because I want to be a role model for my children. I vote because it is easy!

Hailey JamesHailey James

Doctoral Student & Research Assistant, Computer Science & Engineering, UC San Diego

  • How are you helping to get out the vote?
    I’m organizing a “Do-nut Forget to Vote” event for residents of UC San Diego Graduate and Family Housing! Residents will be able to check their eligibility, register to vote and make a voting plan with donuts donated from UC San Diego Student Governments, Auxiliaries and Services.
  • Why are you helping other people vote?
    With everything happening in the world, removing barriers to participating in our democracy feels like a small way in which I can make a difference.
  • Why do you vote? 
    To me, voting is both a privilege and a responsibility. Events in our history and recent past have made it clear that our democracy and human rights cannot be taken for granted. 

Greg OrtizGreg Ortiz

ASUCD Business Manager, UC Davis Student Affairs 

  • How are you helping to get out the vote?
    I work with an amazing group of individuals called Aggies Vote. The coalition’s focus is to create a one-stop shop of everything an Aggie would need to know to participate in upcoming elections. From registration to voter assistance centers and voter ballot drop boxes to providing non-partisan educational materials on what is being voted on, we are here to demystify the process. Comprised of faculty, students and staff and partnering with the Yolo County Elections Office, Aggies Vote has brought together all corners of campus and community to support voter engagement through education, marketing and outreach.
  • Why are you interested in helping other people vote?
    As a member of the higher-education community, I feel a sense of responsibility and civic duty to help lift up voices in my community. Prior to being actively involved in Aggies Vote I “did my part” by voting on Election Day, but my engagement stopped there. Over the past seven years, I have had three children and have seen how much the world around me has changed. I decided, for my children’s future, that I would take a more active role in my community. I believe participation in voting is the bedrock of the United States — including state, local and student elections — and that we all have a part to play in getting as many people out to vote as possible.  
  • Why do you vote?
    To be an active participant in my community and have my vote voiced.

Jennifer RoskoJennifer Rosko

Director, Student Involvement and Programs, UCSF Student Life

  • How are you helping to get out the vote?
    In partnership with UCSF Community and Government Relations, I co-chair the UCSF Voter Engagement Workgroup. We bring together colleagues and students across campus, as well as UCSF Health, to promote civic engagement amongst the entire UCSF community. We have developed a slate of community events and published a communication toolkit, including publicity materials, announcement templates, social media posts and Zoom backgrounds. We’ve also fostered a partnership with the San Francisco Department of Elections and the League of Women Voters. As an advisor to our student organizations, I also connect our highly motivated students to various resources to support their civic promotion efforts. As they say, it truly takes a village and an immense amount of collaboration. I am incredibly fortunate to work with such dedicated staff and students who support our workgroup, as well as within UC’s commitment to facilitate civic engagement and provide access to voting locations. 
  • Why are you interested in helping other people vote? 
    How we vote matters. Who we elect matters. Our vote is our voice to those who are entrusted with running our communities. The individuals we elect into office have a tremendous influence on our day-to-day lives, as well as our future. If someone wants to actively give back to their community or make a change, voting is one of the paths to serve that purpose. 
  • Why do you vote?
    Voting is one way for me to stand up for issues that affect the quality of life of my children, family, friends and neighbors, as well as my fellow humans.

Sarah Shane VasquezSarah Shane-Vasquez

Lead Academic Preceptor, Kresge and Porter Colleges, UC Santa Cruz

  • How are you helping to get out the vote?
    I’m writing letters to registered voters who did not vote in the previous election, encouraging them to vote in November. This is organized through Vote Forward and I’ve committed to mailing 200 hand-written letters this October. 
  • Why are you interested in helping other people vote?
    Every vote counts, especially in local elections. Most of us don’t have the time or passion to write ballot measures or run for office, but voting is a way that each eligible person can participate in making decisions that will impact themselves and their communities.
  • Why do you vote?
    I vote because everyone deserves easy access to good-quality health care and because all kids should feel safe in at school and in their communities.

Stephanie Van GinkelStephanie N. Van Ginkel

Executive Director and Associate Dean of Students, Student Government Student Media, UC Irvine

  • How are you helping to get out the vote?
    I support UC Irvine student leaders however I can. I work closely with our Associated Students and Associated Graduate Students in their get-out-the-vote efforts, based on their vision of doing so.
  • Why are you interested in helping other people vote?
    To ensure their voices are heard, however possible.
  • Why do you vote?
    To ensure my voice is heard. 

Clarity WhiteClarity White

Human Resources Supervisor, UC Berkeley

  • How are you helping to get out the vote?
    I’ve been volunteering as a poll worker on Election Day since 2020 and plan to continue.
  • Why are you interested in helping other people vote?
    I’ve always had an interest in working or volunteering with elections, but didn’t find the time or opportunity to do so until the COVID-19 pandemic. At that point, it seemed more important than ever to participate. I knew that many seniors tended to staff the polls and that they’d become among the highest-risk population. I felt strongly that it was time for me to do what I had thought doing about for years.
  • Why do you vote?
    I find it to be a responsibility of being an engaged citizen. It is our opportunity to participate in the democratic process. Women were not always allowed to vote, so I don’t want to take this hard-won right for granted. I have the idea in my mind that I can’t complain about things in government or politics if I don’t participate in voting in our elections. Also, I tend to think if I don’t vote, who will? This thought motivates me to share my opinions through the voting process. 

Thank you to everyone who participated in this story. If you’d like to add your voice, please contact our editorial team at ucnetwork@universityofcalifornia.edu.

 

 

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