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In 2023, Our Communities and Coalitions Used Their Voices For Power

November 30, 2023

In November 2023, voters from across the country cast their ballots in state and municipal elections, using their voices for power. The State Voices Affiliated Network texted, called, knocked doors, and more to engage voters and ensure every voice was heard and every vote was counted. 

State Tables across our network saw incredible victories that will support our communities, including Black communities, Indigenous communities, women, and TLGBQIA+ communities.

Check out three of their stories below

In Louisiana, Power Coalition for Equity and Justice hustled to make sure voters cast their ballots early for the November 18 elections in the state. Their Executive Director Ashley Shelton was featured on the Woke AF podcast! Check out the episode to learn not only about the elections in 2023, but how incredible Black women organizers and advocates are approaching 2024 and beyond.

“People are going through a lot, and I don’t believe in blaming voters or shaming them. We’ve got to continue the work we’ve been doing, which is going into community and deep listening.” 

“In Louisiana, Black and brown voters need a political home. We’ve tried to be that political home, because we aren’t being served in any way in the traditional political infrastructure. How are we making sure people’s voices are heard?”

“How are we one of the richest states in terms of natural resources, but one of the poorest states in the whole country? The most incarcerated place per capita in the world? It’s what happens when you put industry before people. We have to keep bringing people forward.”

— Ashley Shelton, Executive Director of Power Coalition for Equity and Justice
Members of the Power Coalition of Equity and Justice pose for a group photo inside a small auditorium. A multigenerational group of Black elders and youths are seen smiling and standing close to one another.
Power Coalition for Equity and Justice at a GOTV Roadshow Training in Shreveport, LA

In Ohio, Ohio Voice supported partners with the Ohioans United for Reproductive Rights Coalition to secure abortion access in the state via the Yes on Issue 1 campaign. Ohioans voted in favor of abortion access and reproductive freedom

“Every successful movement in history has employed awareness building, engagement, and centering those who are most vulnerable, and ours is no different. People power is at the heart of the fight to protect abortion.”  

— Rhiannon Carnes, Executive Director of Ohio Women’s Alliance.

Members of Pro Choice Ohio, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Ohio and Ohioans United for Reproductive Rights post for a group photo in a parking lot. A racially diverse group of people are seen smiling and holding signs that say, "Reproductive Freedom For All".
Ohio Voice partners Pro-Choice Ohio with Planned Parenthood Advocates of Ohio and members of Ohioans United for Reproductive Rights

In Maine, Maine Voices Network supported partners Wabanaki Alliance in their effort to, via the Yes on Question 6 campaign, include tribal treaty language in the printed version of the state constitution, an effort to advance the movement for tribal sovereignty and self-determination. Mainers voted in favor of advancing the efforts for tribal sovereignty!

“The passage of Question 6 is important to our overall work towards increased recognition of tribal nations’ inherent sovereignty and self-determination. The passage of Question 6 honors the legacy of our tribal ancestors. It brings about truth and transparency for all Mainers. I’m appreciative that Mainers agreed to support our shared history.” 

— Maulian Bryant, Penobscot Nation Ambassador
A large crowd of protesters pose for a group photo at a rally at the Maine State House on Indigenous Peoples Day, 2023. Many people are holding signs that say "Yes On 6".
More than 200 people rallied and marched at the State House on Indigenous Peoples’ Day in support of Question 6. Photo: Anne Henshaw

Other State Tables that engaged voters around elections this year include:

Kentucky Civic Engagement Table, Civic TN, Washington Community Alliance, Missouri Organizing Voting Engagement Collaborative, Oregon Voice, Alabama Forward, Nebraska Table, State Voices Florida, Blueprint NC, ProGeorgia, Massachusetts Voter Table, Virginia Civic Engagement Table, Wisconsin Civic Power Table, New York Civic Engagement Table, and Pennsylvania Voices.

It’s an honor to be in this movement with such incredible advocates!

Members of the Kentucky Civic Engagement Table pose together for a group photo in front of trees outside. People are seen smiling and laughing. One member towards the bottom of the photo is doing a split pose on the ground.
Kentucky Civic Engagement Table with partners

At State Voices, we’re proud to support the efforts of on-the-ground organizers who strive to ensure every vote is counted and every voice is heard. 

Through our data and technology, leadership development, policy and advocacy support, and more, we aim to contribute to a future where a multiracial democracy is our reality.

In this future, this multiracial democracy will count every vote, hear every voice, and meet every need. In this future, we will all be able to thrive and live in our full dignity.