Through citizenship promotion, voter registration, and turnout, PICC works to build immigrant electoral power and to address barriers to the civic participation of underrepresented immigrant communities. PICC coordinates with legal service providers, community groups and nonprofits, to provide outreach, education and access to legal services to underserved immigrant communities.
The New American Vote:
New Americans, which includes naturalized U.S. citizens or children of immigrants born after 1965, are a growing voting block in the United States. Nationwide there are 11.7 million New American voters1. In Pennsylvania, more than 300,000 New Americans are registered to vote2, which can make a big difference in an electoral swing state like ours!
New Citizens = New Voters:
PICC has registered over 25,000 new citizens to vote and makes sure that people have the tools necessary to exercise their right to vote. We provide voter education about rights, identification requirements, and language assistance through phone banks and voter education forums, as well as informational mailings. This work is nonpartisan and we continue to register people to vote on a weekly basis.
“Voting is a powerful process, which I learned when my first vote brought forth a new president. I learned how to use the voting machines at PICC’s forum in Allentown in the fall and am honored to help others to register and learn about voting.” Yeka Kilikpo, originally from Liberia, who registered to vote with the help of PICC following his citizenship ceremony in 2008.
In 2007, PICC collaborated with the PA Department of State and USCIS to produce the Voting Guide for New Citizens, which provides relevant information about state and local government powers and elections in the Commonwealth, as well as the voting process. The guide has since been adapted into a guide for all PA citizens and translated into Spanish.
To volunteer with our civic engagement program contact Carlos Adolfo Gonzalez, Statewide Capacity Building Coordinator.
1 Immigration Policy Center: The New American Electorate: The Growing Political Power of Immigrants and Their Children. October, 2008.
2 Immigration Policy Center New Americans in the Keystone State: The Political and Economic Power of Immigrants, Latinos, and Asians in Pennsylvania. July 28, 2009.