In Denver, Rick Waters and his team at the Denver Indian Center (DIC) have been thinking about how to help his community get registered to vote while also trying to help local businesses deal with the economic devastation of COVID-19. Enter Tocabe
, an American Indian eatery that’s been a staple of Denver’s Native community for over 30 years.
“We are planning to hit the community in the stomach,” says Waters. “Tocabe is a place that people know and are excited to learn that we’re supporting.”
To this end, the DIC has been hosting a variety of Indian Taco and Voter Registration events with Tocabe’s beloved food. These events allow people to safely receive a hot meal while learning about the election and the Census.
After seeing how successful this event was, Rick and his team knew that they had found something that resonated. They quickly decided to organize more events that would feature food, with their biggest event planned for the end of the month. This Fall Festival will be another drive through event and will feature Tocabe meals, costume contests, and help with last minute voter registration.
Denver Indian Center is also making sure to connect with the homeless population, providing them meals, voter information, t-shirts, hand sanitizers, masks, and civic engagement materials. They’ve also coordinated with the three school districts in Denver and will be working with them to host raffles and food giveaways at school events to increase awareness around civic engagement and connect with the parents.
While the food is critical part of their civic engagement efforts, the most important ingredient to DIC’s outreach is the level of trust they have with the community.
“Our strength can best be defined with two words: trust and credibility,” says Waters. “We are always listening to the community and trying to help answer any of their problems. Our goal is to always help and support the community.”
article by Democracy is Indigenous Newsletter, NUIFC
What is the Democracy is Indigenous Newsletter?
With the most consequential election of our lives 18 days away, the NUIFC wants to take some time each week to share the work our Cohort is doing to make history. This newsletter will be a space to uplift the grassroots work our partner organizations are doing during the most ambitious Urban Indian Get Out the Vote campaign in history. We look forward to bringing this inspiring work right to your inbox every week.
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