Hordes of protesters are coming to New York to give the Republicans hell this summer. But the real action may be out of town—in swing states. “This election is not going to be decided by how many people marched in New York City,” says Sharif Corinaldi of Swing State Summer Break (swingstatesummerbreak.org), which is recruiting activists for voter-registration drives in battlegrounds like Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida.
“We’re a travel agency against Bush,” jokes the 25-year-old Corinaldi of Fort Greene, Brooklyn, who quit his computer-programming job to work full time on the effort. “We find them housing, we find them a way to get there and back, and plug ’em in with a place to work. All you have to do is show up.”
For a more DIY approach, try Driving Votes (drivingvotes.org), a grassroots clearinghouse. Pick a state and download election materials, or check out the ride board for others going your way. “People are signing up for trips faster than we can post them,” says director Leighton Woodhouse.
Meanwhile, the NYC-based League of Pissed Off Voters (indyvoter.org) is working to build progressive-youth voting blocs across the country, with an emphasis on swing states. They’ll be hosting get-out-the-vote trainings during the GOP convention. “If there are 500,000 people coming to protest Bush, then I want all of them to leave with a 56-day plan to create change and swing the election,” says national coordinator Naina Khanna, 27, of Brooklyn.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 13, 2004