Coalition Coordinates Election Push

NASW has joined the America Votes organization, which combines the power of more than 40 large membership-based groups to take full advantage of their electoral impact.

America Votes works to increase voter registration, education and participation in electoral politics. According to America Votes officials, the partnership represents more than 20 million Americans in every state in the country.

Groups that are a part of America Votes work on a broad range of issues including the environment, civil and human rights, choice, education and labor.

Becky Myers, special assistant to NASW Executive Director Elizabeth J. Clark, said NASW is encouraging members to be active in the coming elections and in pubic policy.

America Votes works by uniting the voices and efforts of its members to ensure that its collective and significant resources — both human and financial — are aggregated, coordinated and compounded to make the most of the electoral impact of its partners, according to organizers.

They said America Votes leads and shares innovative strategies and technologies, in conjunction with its partners, so that progressive movements' electoral power is there when opportunities and challenges emerge.

According to the America Votes Web site, its model is effective because the focus is clear: "Everything we do, every dollar we spend, is focused on coordinating the progressive community so that we can take full advantage of our resources to move more progressive voters to the polls."

America Votes is the most common-sense approach to achieving electoral change, organizers said. "We are building a permanent campaign infrastructure to ensure that on-the-ground political efforts are smart, efficient and effective," they said. "We direct our resources to key states where the political stakes are high. Our coalition builds a progressive infrastructure that eliminates overlap, covers holes and employs the most effective techniques to mobilize voters on election day."

Among America Votes participating groups are 21st Century Democrats, ACORN, AFL-CIO, AFSCME, Alliance for Retired Americans, American Association for Justice, American Federation of Teachers, Americans United for Change, Ballot Initiative Strategy Center, Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence united with the Million Mom March, Campaign for America's Future, Change to Win, Campaign for Community Change, Civic Participation Campaign, Clean Water Action, Communities for Quality Education, Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund, Democracy for America, EMILY's List, The Human Rights Campaign, INDN's List, League of Conservation Voters, League of Young Voters, LULAC, Political Action, My Rural America, NAACP National Voter Fund, NARAL Pro-Choice America, NDN, National Education Association, National Jewish Democratic Council, People for the American Way, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Progressive Majority, ProgressNow Action, SEIU, Sierra Club, USAction, Voices for Working Families, Women's Campaign Forum, Women's Voices, Women Vote, Working America, and Young Democrats of America.