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The Mayor's Office convened the Task Force to identify, analyze, and address the issues that affect civic and political participation by immigrant communities.
We have a voter crisis in America that demands bold solutions. One of these potential solutions is lowering the voting age in American elections to 16 years old. There are many layers to the rationale for considering such a shift. Strong citizen participation requires that voters be knowledgeable about the institutions that represent them, and America does not adequately educate its citizens - only one-third of Americans can name all three branches of government, and schools are failing to prioritize effective civics education as they focus on meeting accountability measures in other subjects.
Brennan Center recommends improvements to online registration, election-day fail-safe mechanisms to correct mistaken information, machine security, and audit process.
City of Madison issued 66,834 absentee ballots in the 2016 General Election, truly shattering all previous records. The November 2016 election saw over twice the number of issued and returned absentee ballots as any previous election. The number of pre-registered voters prior to Election Day was also at a record high. That these numbers occurred in the context of Wisconsin's strict photo ID law is more remarkable, but this would not have been the case without In-Person Absentee Voting (IPAV) occurring at satellite locations across the City of Madison. Of the 66,834 total absentee ballots, 51,053 (or 76%) were issued at satellite IPAV locations, with an additional 6,207 being issued at the downtown City Clerk's Office. The thirteen off-site locations included City of Madison public libraries, a municipal engineering office and locations on the UW-Madison and Edgewood College campuses. The Clerk's Office took advantage of the strategic locations of Madison's nine public libraries, and where a library was not conveniently located, the Madison's eastside engineering department hosted absentee voting.
Major economic development projects and infrastructure investment can present both tremendous opportunities and significant threats for communities and residents. Using a community benefits approach, as a local government official you have powerful tools available to ensure that these projects provide the greatest social, economic and environmental benefits while also not harming surrounding neighborhoods. In short, community benefits are assets available through economic development that meet real community needs. Examples include community access to living wage jobs, affordable housing, health and community services and open space.
There have been numerous reports of Immigration and Customs Enforcement ("ICE") arresting people across the United States.
The City of Seattle supports construction jobs and meaningful employment for those in our community through programs that prepare and train workers for careers with family-sustaining wages. In early 2015, the Seattle City Council adopted a new City law, proposed by Mayor Ed Murray, to create construction career opportunities for those in our community.
A wide array of policies to increase voter participation should be adopted by state governments, including automatic voter registration, same-day registration, expansion of early voting and no-fault absentee and vote by mail statutes, voter registration modernization, and restoration of voting rights for formerly incarcerated citizens. But cities and counties have a key - and under-appreciated - role to play in this movement. When it comes to voter registration and voting, counties and cities are where the rubber hits the road.