Somali Community Services of Seattle hosted the first of three workshops on September 6 to share information about voting in King County with members of the East African communities.
The event began with a celebration of Somali food and dances from the center’s youth group. There was a presentation about the history of voting rights in America, the need for community engagement in the electoral process, and a look forward to some of the candidates and measures on the upcoming ballot.
All the information was interpreted in Amharic, Oromo, Somali, and Tigrinya. Guest speakers included King County Election’s Director Julie Wise and Cherry Cayabyab, President of the Seattle/King County NAACP Gerald Hankerson, and numerous community members who all encouraged the attendees to spread the word with others about the importance of voting.
Small group discussions were held to give participants an opportunity to reflect on what they had just learned and strategize about how to get more people involved leading up to the November 8 General Election. By the end of the night, more than 20 people at the event had registered to vote!
The group’s next workshop will take place on October 4 from 5:30-7:30 pm at Yesler Community Center and people will have the opportunity to learn specifics about the issues they will see on the November ballot.