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An Evening of Empowerment and Delicious Dominican Food: MassVOTE’s May 14 Event at Merengue's in Roxbury

On May 14, MassVOTE teamed up with several incredible organizations to host an evening of learning, discussion, and delicious Dominican food at Merengue's in Roxbury. The goal? To tackle some big questions about voting in Massachusetts and what we can do to make every vote count, especially for Black, Latino, and Indigenous communities.

Did you know that Massachusetts is 21st in the country for the gap between our BIPOC population and BIPOC legislative representation? According to data from the Reflective Democracy Campaign, while BIPOC individuals make up about 28% of the state's population, they only hold approximately 13% of the seats in the state legislature. This significant disparity highlights the need for greater representation and fairer electoral systems.  

How Voting Methods Affect Our Communities

The evening began with introductions and a warm welcome, followed by an eye-opening activity led by More Equitable Democracy. We explored how different voting methods—like winner-take-all, ranked-choice voting, and proportional ranked-choice voting—can lead to very different results. By voting on something simple, like "What’s for dinner?" participants saw how the way we vote impacts the outcomes. This activity helped everyone understand why changing how we vote can lead to fairer representation for our communities.

Working for Change: Voices from the Frontlines

After the activity, speakers from MassVOTE, Partners in Democracy, and Ranked Choice Boston shared their work to make elections fairer and more equitable. They talked about the importance of community involvement and offered practical ways for attendees to get involved. Hearing about their efforts inspired many in the room to think about how they can contribute to making our democracy work better for everyone.

Coming Together for a Better Future

This event was made possible by a coalition of passionate organizations, each bringing their own strengths and focus:

  • GenUnity: They bring people together to build trust and collective knowledge, empowering everyday people to drive change on the issues that matter most to their communities.

  • MassVOTE: A non-partisan group dedicated to increasing voter participation and advocating for electoral justice.

  • +More Perfect Union (+MPU): A movement to strengthen our communities through service and leadership, creating connections that heal and empower.

  • More Equitable Democracy: Focused on transforming electoral systems to advance racial equity and empower communities with the tools for long-term change.

  • Partners in Democracy: Led by democracy expert Danielle Allen, this organization works to renovate our democracy with strategic changes at the state level.

  • Ranked Choice Boston: They educate and organize for ranked-choice voting in Boston to ensure fairer election outcomes.

  • Union Capital: This group rewards community engagement and works to cultivate equity through ongoing collaboration.

The evening was not just about learning—it was about empowering our communities to take action. Attendees left with new knowledge and a sense of purpose, ready to get involved in making our voting system work better for everyone.

We invite you to join us at future events and become part of this important movement. Let's close the representation gap and build a more effective and fair democracy for Black, Latino, and Indigenous communities in Massachusetts.

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