Bridge Together

Gov. Deval Patrick Announces Funding for Voting Rights Initiatives

Bridge Together announces grants for voting rights organizations in PA, AZ, and GA 

Today, Bridge Together announces a new round of grantees: Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity, Arizona AANHPI for Equity Coalition, and Asian Americans Advancing Justice Atlanta

Bridge Together is committed to investing in existing, local, on-the-ground partners aligned with our mission, helping ensure off-year investments in civic engagement and voter education and allowing organizations to build and maintain their staff. We selected these organizations because of their exemplary commitment to building progressive power year round. 

Bridge Together is providing funding for Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity (PLSE) – an organization committed to clearing and pardoning criminal records of Black and Brown Pennsylvanians while also providing voter education resources. This innovative organization recognizes the significant structural and cultural obstacle that having a criminal record presents to employment for thousands of Pennsylvanians. Specifically, criminal history disadvantages people of color and the poor. Funding from Bridge Together will be used to support PLSE’s pardon hub network – a network of community centers and nonprofits where folks can get information about applying for a pardon as well as coaching. Bridge Together funds will go towards a monthly criminal records clinic. These clinics would rotate through PLSE’s partner non-profits within the Pardon Hub and would provide intake services for any individual who attends and requests help eliminating their criminal records. These clinics will also serve as education and information hubs for voting and advocacy.

Additionally, Bridge Together is providing grants to Arizona AANHPI for Equity Coalition – an organization focusing on increasing young voter turnout specifically by holding a Civic Engagement Youth Fellowship Summer Program where they train 25 high school and college students on community organizing, story of self, voting rights history, racial bias, voter registration, and art activism. In Georgia, Bridge Together is funding Asian Americans Advancing Justice Atlanta, whose mission is to to increase AAPI and Latinx engagement and turnout across Georgia. 

“I want to send my sincere congratulations to Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity, Arizona AANHPI for Equity Coalition, and Asian Americans Advancing Justice Atlanta – extraordinary organizations that are making a difference in their communities,” said Gov. Deval Patrick, Chairman of Bridge Together. “Organizing and building grassroots progressive power is necessary year round, it is indeed critical for both the long-term success and sustainability of progressive policies and for overcoming current efforts to suppress the vote. That’s why the work being done by our grantees to support our Democracy is so important. Congratulations to all of the grantees and thank you for all of the work you do.” 

“The mission of Bridge Together is to fund, support, and sustain grassroots organizing efforts year-round that goes everywhere and engages everyone because democracy is stronger when we all participate and we all have a stake,” said Chrystian Woods, Executive Director of Bridge Together. “We are excited to work with a broad diverse group of organizations that are executing engaging and comprehensive programs at the grassroots level.”

“Thanks to Bridge Together, we’ll be able to advance our organization’s mission of providing free legal advice and representation to low-income Pennsylvanians whose criminal records are holding them back from achieving their social and career potentials,” said Renee Chenault Fattah, Executive Director of  Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity. “This funding will allow us to expand our voter education and civic engagement efforts and we’re excited to continue that important work.”

“We’re thrilled to be selected as Bridge Together grantees,” said Jennifer Chau, Executive Director of Arizona AANHPI for Equity Coalition“We’re putting this critical funding toward building political power through our Civic Engagement Youth Fellowship Summer Program where we advocate for voter participation and civic engagement by training 25 high school and college students on community organizing, story of self, voting rights history, racial bias, voter registration, and art activism.” 

“Efforts to suppress the vote in Georgia have reached a fever pitch, we saw that in 2020 and we’re going to see it again in 2022,” said Phi Nguyen, Executive Director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice Atlanta “That’s why the work we do increasing AAPI and Latinx voter turnout is so critical. We’re grateful for the grant provided by Bridge Together which will make it possible to increase voter engagement across the state of Georgia.” 

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