Stay tuned for the next DAWN meeting announcement.
If you would like to join DAWN Voter Advocates in our effort to register voters please email Kathy at DAWN at email@example.com.
DAWN Voter Advocates Celebrates 10 year milestone
Voter Advocacy group DAWN Voter Advocates recognized their 10 years of empowering voters with a cocktail reception and celebration on March 26th, 2013 at a home in Glen Ellyn.
"Here's cheers for 10 years," DAWN Voter Advocates founder and organizer Kathy Slovick, said as she toasted at the event. " We stopped counting at 10,000, but as a group, we have easily registered over 15,000 new voters since our beginning."
DAWN ( DuPage Against War Now) is e group that was founded by Kathy Slovick and friend Amy Tauchman in October, 2002. DAWN specifically mobilized to oppose the ( at that time ) impending Iraq war. Originally the idea was to join in with larger anti-war groups in the city of Chicago at downtown protests. The group had grown from just a dozen people at its first meeting to over 1,200 people, who joined in at vigils, helped to host film festivals, and marched to protest what they felt was an unjust war that would ultimately be bad for both Iraq and the U.S.
"There is no joy or satisfaction in knowing that we were right. But the truth is, more than 60% of the people now feel that the Iraq war was a mistake. Back then we were in the minority." said Slovick.
In March of 2003, the war had begun. Registering voters helped to energize the peace advocates, who felt that more people needed to have their voices heard.
The first voter registration event DAWN had was at a craft fair in Glen Ellyn. "Organizers of the craft fair reluctantly let us sit at a table to register voters. The reaction we received was so gratifying," recalled Slovick. " People thanked us for being there. It made us want to do more.
"That's how DAWN Voter Advocates was born, and the idea of empowering voters has continued to hold the group togeter"
The group consists of all volunteers. During high-interest election cycles, a schedule is made by Slovick and volunteering is coordinated via email.
"It's always amazing to me how generous my people are with their time," Slovick said.
The group has registered at a variety of venues, but the best are colleges and high schools, where there is a large population of unregistered voters.
According to Slovick, many core DAWN members remain active and stay connected with DAWN's non-partisan advocacy and voter registration. There are still a substantial number of members who remain on the sidelines but are still connected to DAWN.
"The next big thing" for DAWN Voter Advocates is to spearhead legislation which would require that high schools to have a system where they would automatically register eligible voters when they turn 18.
"We can't get to everybody," said Slovick. " It would be ideal in the schools. If you can call a student in for a birthday book, you can give him the greatest gift of all- a voice in government. "
This could be the second piece of legislation that DAWN had a hand in- A law allowing non-partisan pollwatchers was passed in 2007 due to a collaborative effort between Slovick and the League of Women Voters Illinois.
To volunteer, or receive more information about DAWN Voter Advocates email Kathy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Did you know...
DAWN's subgroup, DAWN Voter Advocates is DuPage County's largest voter registration and voter advocacy organization???
Below are some of our newly registered, happy voters!
Want to join us in our efforts? Email DAWN today if you are interested in empowering voters by becoming a voter registrar and and protecting the vote by POLLWATCHING.
DAWN's story begins in the run-up to the Iraq war in the fall of 2002.
DAWN was founded on the belief that pre-emptive, unilateral war in Iraq was wrong. Many doubted claims that there were WMD in Iraq. Conventional wisdom was that weapons inspections should be allowed to continue while the policy of containment kept Saddam Hussein in check.
Peace advocates thought that by protesting or writing letters to our members of Congress we could stop the war.
When the Iraq war began officially in March 2003, we began the process to mobilize to register voters, and pollwatch to ensure fair and accurate elections.
To date more than 10,000 voters have been registered by DAWN Voter Advocates.
Our core members, many of whom have been with us since those first days, have seen some historic moments: an appearance on Oprah, thought-provoking film festivals, a " peace picnic" with Gold Star Mom Cindy Sheehan, even an historic change in Illinois Law. We recall proudly the many vigils and protests, each one drawing more and more participants.
DAWN has been recognized with awards such as the Kit Phau Voting Rights Award and a Citizens Initiative Award.
DAWN has evolved into DAWN Community Advocates. Let's continue to fight for what's right in this country, and work to change things for the better
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