Building State REV UP Disability Voting Coalitions
April 12, 2017 | Zach Baldwin
The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) serves as the national coordinator of the REV UP Campaign, which aims to increase the political power of the disability community while also engaging candidates and the media on disability issues. REV UP stands for Register! Educate! Vote! Use your Power!
In 2016, over 35 million people with disabilities were eligible to vote – that number increases to nearly 63 million eligible voters when you count family members of people with disabilities, approximately one quarter of the total electorate (Doug Kruse & Lisa Schur, Rutgers University). We have the numbers to be a powerful voting bloc, capable of influencing elections and policy outcomes. We believe we can tap into this power by organizing at the state and local levels. With the 2018 mid-term elections just around the corner, we’re starting by building state REV UP disability voting coalitions around the country.
The purpose of the state voting coalitions is to influence election and policy outcomes at the local, state, and national level. We are looking for leaders who can pull together and organize advocates in their state to work together around voter registration and engagement activities and help establish a strong, diverse coalition.
In 2017, we are particularly focused on organizing in New Jersey and Virginia in advance of the fall gubernatorial elections. There is an immediate need for advocates in those states to mobilize and engage voters. Please let us know if you are a New Jersey or Virginia resident and interested in getting involved. This year we are also focused on building state voting coalitions across the country to mobilize the disability community for the 2017 local elections as well as the 2018 mid-terms.
A state REV UP voting coalition is open to all disability rights advocates interested in increasing the political participation of people with disabilities. Other states have established successful coalitions by bringing together representatives from centers for independent living, the state protection and advocacy agency, the state Developmental Disability Council, chapters of national disability organizations, local League of Women Voters chapters, Rock The Vote, and others.
State voting coalitions are developing in:
- New Jersey
- New York
- South Carolina
*List updated October 11, 2017
We want a REV UP Campaign in every state! In 2016, during the presidential election, the REV UP Campaign engaged with advocates in over 25 states.
This year, AAPD is pleased to announce a partnership with EveryLibrary to bring National Disability Voter Registration Week 2017 to libraries across the country. Libraries in over 40 states have signed on to promote the goals the July 17 -21, 2017 National Disability Voter Registration Week (NDVRW) through programming, outreach, public education, and voter registration partnerships or on-site services. Learn more about the AAPD and EveryLibrary partnership.
If you are interested in joining an existing state REV UP disability voting coalition or in helping to launch a coalition in your state, AAPD would be glad to work with you. Please contact Zach Baldwin, Director of Outreach, at 202-521-4310 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Together we can make the DISABILITY VOTE count!