Join Us for #WhyWeVote Live Event | October 17, 2020

Please join DCARA Youth & Family Services #WhyWeVote live event for a timely conversation between Deaf leaders, artists, community members and Deaf youth. This event will be moderated by DCARA Board Vice President Antoine Hunter PurpleFireCrow.

Join us live tomorrow, October 17 from 3:30-5 PM PST on DCARA’s Facebook and YouTube channels.

Panelists:

  • Melissa Draganac-Hawk, President of National Association of the Deaf
  • Zahna Simon, Professional Dancer, Choreographer, and former Chemist
  • Nicholas Sanchez, Voting Rights Activist
  • Reza J Mosher, California School for the Deaf, Fremont, Class of ’21
  • Jennifer Homberg, Ohlone College ASL Club Treasurer
  • Joseph Lewis, Policy and Political Advocate

For more information: https://dcara.org/whywevote

[ID: The flyer has a pale gray backgroung displaying photos of the 6 panelists plus the moderator, in black, blue and red with following content:

“Why We Vote”

  • Melissa Draganac-Hawk, President of National Association of the Deaf
  • Zahna Simon, Professional Dancer, Choreographer, and former Chemist
  • Nicholas Sanchez, Voting Rights Activist
  • Reza J Mosher, California School for the Deaf, Fremont, Class of ’21
  • Jennifer Homberg, Ohlone College ASL Club Treasurer
  • Joseph Lewis, Policy and Political Advocate

“Your Vote, Your Voice”

Saturday, October 17

Ways to Watch

Facebook Live and YouTube]

Susan Gonzalez's #WhyIVote Story

[VIDEO DESC: Susan Gonzalez sits in front of a lime green wall and lower corner of a painting visible. The painting has orange, red, and yellow tones with black frame. Susan wears a red dress with white daisies. Her chest tattoo is visible. She has chin-length brown curly hair. The back of the chair is visible behind Susan. Susan identifies as Mexicana with white presenting privileges.]

[TRANSCRIPT]

[Slide shows the content: Do you remember the first time you voted? What was that like?]

Hi, I am Susan Gonzalez. I wanted to talk about the importance of voting this year. I voted for the first time in 1984 when I was 18 years old. I do not recall any details about that election. But I do remember the sense of responsibility, the importance that I exercise my right to vote. I know different groups of communities had been denied the right to vote and over the years one community at a time would be granted the right to vote. Another community years later given that right. Then another community. Many have fought so I could vote. My vote honors the ancestors who stood up and fought for the right to vote.

[Slide shows the content: Why is it important to you to vote?]

Election this year is especially important to me. The current system thrives on oppression. How can I push back? How do I make known what is important to me, as a womxn, a Deaf person, a Latinx/Mexicana with white presenting privileges? I vote. I encourage everyone to vote. It is your right. Thank you.

[END TRANSCRIPT]

Ann Lynn Parker's #WhyIVote Story

[VISUAL DESC: Ann Lynn, an African American female, is wearing glasses, a black headband with a puff hairstyle pulled on the top of her head, and a yellow jacket. Beneath her jacket, there is a dark blue blouse with multicolored patterns and a partial view of black top. Behind her is a light blue wall.]

[TRANSCRIPT]

[Slide shows the content: Why is it important to you to vote?]

The answer is simple: Black people died and were denied the right to vote. Black people were beaten, arrested, mauled by dogs, required to take literacy tests and pass, compelled to pay poll taxes just because they wanted to vote. They had the same rights, same citizenship as other people; however local and state officials back then deemed that black people weren’t as equal. That’s why your voting matters. In the honor of our legacy of Black people, who fought, marched and demanded equality, we ought to have equal rights to vote. Your vote matters. Go vote.

[END TRANSCRIPT]

Michelle Camara's #WhyIVote Story

[VIDEO DESC: Michelle, a white female, is wearing a v-neck dark blue shirt and a pair of dark eyeglasses. Behind her is a sage green background with a gold framed picture between a pair of mirrors.]

[TRANSCRIPT]

[Slide shows the content: Do you remember the first time you voted? What was that like?]

Yes it was on 2nd of November 2004. I was 18 years old, first semester a college student after graduated High School. The experience was adrenaline, as I was able to voting my voice. It was a most empowered moment for me to be able to vote.

[Slide shows the content: Why is it important to you to vote?]

Historically, people has fought and won the right to vote as a woman and Deaf. I value the history of that and thankful for those two groups that given me the opportunity ability to vote today.

[Slide shows the content: Do you remember your grandmother voting?]

I didn’t know and I reached out to my grandmother. I asked her the question when she first voted. She chuckled and that was very long time ago. The first time when I eighteen years old in year 1960. I am looking forward to vote again this November.

[Slide shows the content: What message do you offer to the community about voting?]

Vote is so much more than just electing the presidency. You will be able to vote your local, state and federal level. In each of props, laws and etc. all they have historically chained behind it. It is very important to read and understand the history before you vote your voice. Your vote will support your beliefs, your loved ones and community’s. Your voice matter!

[Slide shows the content: If you could change 1 or 2 things about the country (or our community), what would they be?]

Change usually happen and effective successful when it starts with yourself. Then it will ripple effect to the locally and change the community’s voice. Then it will become a ripple effect upward state and then to the federal level. It will become a mutual goal and voice within the community. Important is to have a dialogue and listen to your loved one and community. Again, your voice and vote matter!

[Slide shows the content: Will you vote this year? How important is it to vote this year?]

Yes and I have never missed the vote opportunity since 2004. So yes I will vote next month and you should do the same thing because your vote matter!

[END TRANSCRIPT]

Michael Schmidt's #WhyIVote Story

#WhyWeVote Campaign | Michael Schmidt’s #WhyIVote Story

[VIDEO DESC: Michael, a white male, is wearing a white blouse with a tie decorated with stars on a blue background and red and white stripes. Behind him is a red background with wooden panels.]

[TRANSCRIPT]

[Slide shows the content: Do you remember the first time you voted? What was that like?]

Do I remember the first time I voted? Yes! When I was in my early twenties, my neighbor was running for an elected position for city of Fremont. He was against real estate companies pushing for housing on Fremont hills – he disagreed with that and yes, I agreed with his platform. I love the hills in Fremont – very pretty to see – especially after the rains in the spring when the hills become all green and in the summer, the hills become all gold. I love the view of my hills and housing on the hills would had been an eye sore. So I decided to register to vote. Later I was informed the address of where I should vote at – not too far from my home. When it was time to vote, I went over there – some person’s house run by volunteers – voting was conducted in the garage. I met with the front desk people and identified myself and sure enough, my name was on the list because I had already registered. They gave me the ballot and I went inside the booth to vote. As I exited my booth and deposited my ballot, I happened to came across my neighbor who arrived there the same time I was leaving and I gave him a thumb-up! Gestured to him that I already voted and he gave me a thumb-up back! I felt inspired! I voted for my neighbor, my city, my county, and my country. It was inspiring for me and I felt like an adult that day. (Waving the flag).

[Slide shows the content: Why is it important to you to vote?]

Why is it important to vote? Ahh yes..why? Point is.. Change. If you want to change something or change an elected someone, you will have to vote. Keep something the same or replace someone – you have to vote. Some issues brought to your attention that you either agree or disagree with, you’ll have to vote. Nothing happens if you do not vote.

[Slide shows the content: Do you remember your grandmother voting?]

Do I remember my grandmother voting? I was a child growing up during the 60’s so I don’t remember much. During the early 1950’s, my grandmother and my grandfather (both Deaf) were living in Venezuela, South America (signing Venezuela) my grandfather was working there and they didn’t vote for a long while (19 years) until they returned to America so my grandmother probably voted later.

[Slide shows the content: Who was the first person in your family to vote?]

The first in my family to vote? Probably my parents (both Deaf). My father was working for the newspapers back then and always reading the news and he influenced and encouraged my mother who was young and 21 at the time to vote because it was important – it was her civil duty to vote as U.S. citizen and she said “OK-OK” and voted for the first time in the city of Hayward. So she voted at every elections ever since. The election this coming November, she still intends to vote. She is currently 84 years old!

Back in the days when my mother was a student at Maryland School for the Deaf, the school was informed that a Presidential candidate will be stopping at the train station in Fredrick, MD. Students from the deaf school (MSD) would go over there to the train station and witnessed this presidential candidate speaking from a train car. That candidate was Dwight D. “Ike” Eisenhower. My mom and MSD students saw him despite no interpreting were provided but at least they saw someone famous! Soon after later, Ike would become our 34th U.S. President. He served two terms: 1953 to 1961.

[What message do you offer to the community about voting?]

My message for those in the community about voting? I met many people who did not vote when asked. Their various excuses: “No, I don’t want to vote”, “voting bores me”, “I’m not interested to vote” “Other people can vote for me” and I would often respond to them, “No-no, you have to vote!” Really, from my observations, most of them actually felt awkward or do not know how or lack the confidence when it comes to voting. I often tell them you can get help with this and there are people out there willing to support you when it comes to registering to vote, people can also explain issues to you, and currently there are available videos in ASL explaining several propositions they can watch and determine which to vote for. You can make personal notes of which propositions you agree or disagree with or vote YES or No to. When it is time to vote, you can bring your notes with you and fill out your answers into your voting ballot. This will help you successfully submit your ballot! Yes you can! You have to take the initiative rather than being apathetic about not voting and making excuses because you are bored or assuming others will vote for you. For example, there are services you are dependent on and supposedly the services you rely on suddenly will stop? (Do-do?) You have to vote!

[Slide shows the content: If you could change 1 or 2 things about the country (or our community), what would they be?]

What changes do I want to see in this community or country? Really, anything that benefits Deaf people and Deaf community. Deaf rights, communication and language access, education, jobs and training, interpreting. I want to see Deaf children have ASL incorporated into their lives much earlier not much later. I want to see more job and training opportunities for young Deaf adults rather than being neglected. Raise the quality of life for Deaf people and their communities.

[Slide shows the content: Will you vote this year? How important is it to vote this year?]

Will I be voting this year? BIG YES! I intend to vote and I am so ready!! I feel lately the leadership and events in this country have been very chaotic and messy – shifting left and right off-center. There is a need to bring ourselves back to center – into the straight and narrow – strive for clarity so we can progress forward together toward the future – for the better good for all of us. Therefore we must vote!

[END TRANSCRIPT]

Register to Vote

If you haven’t registered to vote today, please register today!

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