Strengthening the voice and participation of underrepresented communities.
Creating a more equitable future in Greater Seattle.
Seattle Foundation created the Center for Community Partnerships to advance collaborative, systemic change to achieve greater economic and racial equity in the region. The Vibrant Democracy Initiative is our newest Center initiative, with the goal of strengthening the voice and participation of underrepresented communities to allow for more equitable systems change.
Engaging communities in change efforts around issues that directly affect them leads to more effective results and improved sustainability of long-term, positive change. Our ability to create a more equitable future in Greater Seattle requires skilled and informed community partners and without them, representative and truly democratic processes will not be possible.
Our first effort was a partnership with King County Elections to support voter education and culturally relevant technical assistance within limited-English speaking communities. We worked with 22 community-based organizations whose expertise and deep community ties effectively drove the participation of under-represented communities in the broader democratic process.
To further expand this work, we partnered with King County Elections again to create the Voter Education Fund, a government, philanthropic and community partnership to remove barriers to voting in diverse communities. We will be awarding a total of $400,000 in grants to community-based organizations to provide either a 9-month campaign or a series of smaller events focused on one or more of the following:
• Basic education about how voting works in King County, such as who is eligible to vote and what is vote-by-mail.
• Voter registration.
• Non-partisan opportunities for communities to come together and educate themselves about what’s on the ballot.
• Technical assistance in navigating the voting process, such as helping voters change their address or language preference.
To learn more about our Vibrant Democracy Initiative, contact Jonathan Cunningham at firstname.lastname@example.org.