Posted by Johanna Mustafa on May 31, 2018 in Blog

As the California Primary Election approaches on Tuesday, June 5th, Yalla Vote programming has been gaining momentum and pushing for GOTV efforts to ensure our Arab American community is registered and ready to show up at the polls next week.

In light of the recent attacks on sanctuary status in California, the “We are Sanctuary” Iftar in Little Arabia District, Anaheim on May 21 was an opportunity for Yalla Vote to join the community during the month of Ramadan to reconfirm our commitment to serving the community, support the resilience of marginalized communities, and celebrate the breaking of fast with our Muslim friends.

Community members and leaders shared what it means for them to be “sanctuary for all” as Arab Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, African Americans, and American Muslims. As the Yalla Vote Field Organizer in California, I discussed how we can show up for sanctuary policies not only in community, but also at the polls. In just a few days, Californians will vote for candidates for governor, seven statewide offices, five propositions, key legislative races, and critical congressional seats that will affect the fabric of U.S. governance.

The following morning, on May 22, I brought the Yalla Vote initiative to the University of California-Riverside campus and facilitated a civic engagement workshop that walked students through the process of voting. Students were able to check their registration status, find their polling places, explore their ballot and, in some cases, file new registration forms to update any personal information. The workshop was an interactive and engaging gathering that ensured that young Arab Americans are informed citizens and equipped with the resources to exercise their right to vote in 2018.

With a few newly registered Arab American young voters, and many more voters signing our Commit to Vote cards and pledging to turnout to the polls on June 5th, it is safe to say the past week was a success.