The Participation Project reaches individuals who are often missed and do not always have a voice at the table. 2020 was no different. Our partner human service nonprofits were on the frontlines ensuring communities received the essential services they need despite the pandemic. While shops and businesses closed down, our partners — food pantries, community health clinics, homeless shelters, and COVID-19 protective housing sites — remained open and experienced an increased demand for their services. Across the state, nonprofits were ready to engage their communities and participants in civic life, committing time and resources to building a more just future for all.
voters engaged across 35 counties
staff, volunteers, and constituents trained on the importance of voting, nonpartisan voter engagement, and cultural competency
bilingual voter information postcards distributed
CRC supported 10 food distribution sites by providing bilingual vote-branded bags and info cards to go in food boxes. We also stationed staff and volunteers on site to engage in conversations through car windows as folks waited for their food.
“We were able to distribute [voter engagement materials] in daily meals and with our bulk grocery deliveries multiple times during election season. So even if we didn’t register them, people were given constant reminders to participate in the election.”
Marissa Hunt, Manna-The Durango Soup Kitchen
We supported 6 community health centers with clinics across the state to integrate voter registration into their service delivery by providing in-person outreach during in-take. We also stationed organizers in parking lots as folks waited to be called in for their appointments.
“This was our first time [doing voter engagement work], so we have established a ground level to launch from for next year, and years beyond.”
Martha Graf, Marillac Health
Isabel, an enrollment staff member at Sunrise Community Health (pictured here), works to engage patients before and after their appointments at a voter registration table.
Our Partners at the Boys and Girls Club of the San Luis Valley not only engaged with families at their club, but also helped register folks in the larger community by hosting a voter registration and information booth at the local weekly farmer’s markets.They registered more than 450 voters in the San Luis Valley and through our Get Out The Vote efforts. We know that a week before the election, all but six of these people had already voted.
“We had many first-time registrations, and that was great, helping the new generation to sign up to vote.”
Olga Montano, Boys & Girls Club of the San Luis Valley
Root Causes Network
We grew the Network this year, hosting 7 Network meetings and bringing on 3 new member organizations for a total of 10 member organizations participating during the 2020 calendar year. CRC is committed to building an inclusive Network and prioritizes organizations led by and serving BIPOC individuals.
“The Root Causes Network has provided BFR with tools, conversations, and capacity building to better understand the root causes of food insecurity and to take steps towards doing more meaningful advocacy work. I come to Root Causes Network meetings feeling like I have a lot to offer and a lot to learn, which speaks to the collection of professionals that make up and lead the network. Through BFR’s partnerships with community-led food distribution centers, I have so many opportunities to see the power and skill and potential housed within communities. With resources like Root Causes Network, we’re learning to advance the power and potential in these partnerships in new and different ways.”
Lindsey Loberg, Boulder Food Rescue
human service nonprofits partnered with CRC to promote the Census with their constituents
census-branded outreach items were distributed by nonprofit partners
nonprofits utilized the digital communications toolkit and digital Pledge to Count card created by CRC
This year we increased our civic engagement programming by partnering with human service nonprofits to distribute information and encourage participation in the 2020 census. We modeled our outreach after our successful voter engagement program and adapting quickly to the pandemic, developing online strategies and a digital communication toolkit to support our partner nonprofits.
“Our nonprofit partners across the state played a critical role in ensuring a fair census count despite changing timelines and the challenges of the pandemic. Thank you to our partners for your continued commitment to civic engagement.”
Alex McHenry, CRC Senior Program Manager
Lara, a Sister Carmen Community Center staff member (pictured here), places census materials in food boxes. Sister Carmen Community Center was one of the 24 nonprofits we partnered with to promote Census participation.