For many decades, the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) really never actively emphasize on the importance of voter registration drives for ALL state associations of the deaf and other deaf organizations on their introductory/main web pages or during their conferences, meetings and special events.
NAD did urge the register to vote back in 2008, but just done it ONCE. Guess what? NAD just posted the very long page - blah, blah, blah, blah about registered to vote. NAD and all state associations of the deaf and deaf organizations NEVER post any BOLD-LETTERED on their introductory web page like "ALREADY REGISTER TO VOTE??" 'IF NOT, REGISTER TO VOTE NOW !!!!!" Look at NAD webpage from 2008 - http://www.nad.org/issues/civil-rights/help-america-vote-act/be-prepared
WHO HAVE TIME TO READ LENGHTY PAGE ABOUT URGE TO REGISTER TO VOTE?? We should get to the POINT why we ought to register to vote...
Some state associations of the deaf like Maryland Association of the Deaf DID urge its own members to register to vote before the given deadline by the state election board in very passive way. Look at the MAD webpage from 2008 - http://mdad.tv/2008/10/why-is-it-important-to-vote/
Arizonia Association of the Deaf (AAD) did urge its own constitutents to register to vote - http://www.azadinc.org/votereg.htm No "DEAF" features to motiviate and mobilize the deaf grassroots to register to vote. Just post the referral web page.
South Carolina Association of the Deaf did urge its own members to register to vote, but it referred members to the general webpage associated with the disabilty group. Look at SCAD webpage and see for yourself! South Carolina Disability Coalition really doing the voter registration drive, not the SCAD. Look at that webpage and see for yourself!
Just one Deaf organization web page to be found about the voter registration drive- New York Black Deaf Advocates, but but but NO BOLD LETTERINGS to urge members to register to vote. Look at that web page - http://nycbda.weebly.com/nycbda-member-achievements.html
Texas Association of the Deaf (TAD) did have its own voter registration drive at the Texas School for the Deaf's Homecoming event last October 2011 for very first time in TSD history! TSD managed to register about 50 new Deaf voters. *waving hands* http://deaftexas.org/wp/?s=voter+registration+drive&x=27&y=21
You could see HOW PATHETIC we, the Deaf community being very passive about our own citizenry rights to vote and take it for GRANTED!!!
NAD and all state associations of the deaf and deaf organizations MUST insert the permanent ASL video messages to mobilize all their members and non-members within the Deaf/deaf community to register to vote on their webpages by the end of February 2012! Ever NAD and all state associations of the deaf and all deaf organizations must remind all the deaf citizenry to register to vote on frequent basis like twice per month or every week!
NAD and state associations of the deaf and all deaf organizations and clubs MUST bring the sheets of voter registration forms every time for meetings, lectures, special events and other events. Voter registration drives are FREE and EASIER TO DO. We must follow up with every involved individuals to see if they already get their voter registration card or not. DON'T WAIT UNTIL A MONTH BEFORE ANY SPECIAL OR PRIMARY OR GENERAL ELECTION! COMPRENDO??
So we, Deaf America could create the real powerful "political" and economic" and "social" constitutency. We have our Deaf allies, CODAs, family members and hearing activists to join us, Deaf America to turn the tides and shake the system to meet our "Deaf' expectations.
How come the NAD never invite the President of the United States and state governor and mayor of host town to our national conference to give the honorary speech every two years and give the NAD much greater media exposure? We ought to extend our invitation to President Barack Obama and other presidential opponent(s) for the general election.
All deaf organizations and state associations of the deaf OUGHT to invite local and state elected officeholders, ex. mayor, councilperson, school board member, state and federal officials to talk to us, the D/deaf constitutency from time to time to build our political and community relationships!! Of course, many elected officeholders LOVE free foods and drinks. Don't forget to pamper their aides, too!
Look at our own tendency within the Deaf communities to be more reactive when something like the AB 2072 bill in California (2010) and HB 1367 in Indiana (currently happened - 2012) than being proactive to show our real political muscles. JUST REGISTER TO VOTE NOW!! DO IT NOW!! Please follow up with your voter registration in 2 weeks.
Roberta Thoryk did mention about why why we tend to be more reactive than proactive. Michele Westfall replied "Money, money".
Samuel Hawks posted his comment on "Indiana Deaf Education Coaliton" FB Page with his good question asked -
Indiana Deaf Education Coalition
Samuel H. Hawk- Been thinking about HB1367, not the bill itself but the entire chain of events. The legislation is progressing at a rapid speed in spite of loud objections by the Deaf community. This experience is not an exception, witness AB2072. Why would elected officials be willing to alienate an entire group of voters? I can think of only one answer: we're seen as wards rather than citizens.
I rest my case and extend my legs on the ottaman!
Robert L. Mason