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LWVC Board Member Alejandra Ramirez-Zarate Testifies in Assembly Elections Committee

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LWVC Board Member Alejandra Ramirez-Zarate Testifies at Assembly Elections Committee Hearing.

On November 16, 2023, Alejandra Ramirez-Zarate, LWVC Board Member, testified in the Assembly Committee on Elections about the voter participation gap and community engagement.   She noted that keeping underrepresented communities out of democracy has intentional historical roots.  “It’s not apathy. It’s structural racism.” She further pointed out the stigma that can be assigned to “low propensity” voters.

Leaving no stone unturned, Ms. Ramirez-Zarate listed the many ways the LWVC is closing the participation gap through education and voter outreach, but identified that this is not enough. For years, the LWVC has been leading the charge for more state funding to support trusted community messengers.

“We have to resource both election officials and the culturally competent community based organizations to engage people and shrink that participation gap. In 2022, our coalition made a voter education and outreach budget request, and this was championed by a group of legislators led by Assemblymember Aguilar-Curry. Although we weren’t successful, we’re starting to pave the path to be able to get this request funded.”

The LWVC is not deterred by the fate of our previous voter education funding request, and Ms. Ramirez-Zarate made it clear that we are already working on a path forward for next session.

“We’re going to continue as always advocating for resources needed to close the voter participation gap.  The trusted messengers are already doing the work. We just need to fund their work, trust their voices, and experience.”

Ms. Ramirez-Zarate’s testimony underscores the LWVC’s continuous commitment during legislative breaks, seizing the opportunity to collaborate with partners, educate legislators, and fortify our advocacy efforts—activities directly supported by your donation to the Action Fund.