Women leaders join forces to boost voter, census participationby Jan Janes on Mar 20, 2020
Assemble women leaders in the same room and powerful synergies occur.
So it was at the WE:2020 event hosted by the Santa Clara County Office of Women's Policy at Gavilan College. Combining the triple focus of suffrage/voting, census and efforts to prevent human trafficking, thought leaders throughout the county came to Gavilan College to join voices.
Speaking with clarity and conviction, Protima Pandey, Director for the Santa Clara
County Office of Women’s Policy kicked off the event.
“The key charge for our office,” said Pandey, “Is to create opportunities to share information outreach and teachings around gender equity.”
The Women in Equity Leadership Council started in 2018 with the goal of full civic engagement in 2020, the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution, giving women the right to vote.
The consortium is also collaborating to promote youth engagement, voter rights and census participation.
Gavilan College students joined as workers
in the upcoming 2020 US Census.
Why collaborate with a community college?
“College student populations are hard to count,” said Pandey. “It is critical to create awareness. It doesn’t matter where your parents or guardians are, get counted where you are.” Then, she suggests, find five more people, and make sure they get counted as well.
Why get counted in the Census?
"This is about creating equity,” said Pandey. “This community can get additional public service funding, resources for Gavilan College and resources for the community if everyone is counted in the Census.”
Monica Tong, at the 2020 Census Table during WE:2020.
Monica Tong also spoke at the WE:2020 event. As an assistant manager for the Santa Clara County Census 2020 Program, she says it is all about counting everyone. Everyone. “If fewer people are counted, the less voice we have,” she said. “The fewer votes we have in our state representation.”
She was clear in her messaging at the WE:2020 event. “We need to make sure all communities get counted,” she said. “Gavilan College students need to get counted.” Presence and persistence are key.
"Our entire Census team will know they are doing a good job if people in Santa Clara County call to complain that there were Census workers in their neighborhoods. Regularly," said Tong.
Kristin Wood-Hegner and Dr. Kathleen Rose, Superintendent/President of Gavilan
College. Wood-Hegner is with Coalition to End Human Trafficking, a partner in the
Visit WE2020.org for more information and ways to get involved.