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Boston, Mass. (January 19, 2023) – More than 3,000 volunteers from 400 Unitarian Universalist (UU) congregations from across the country contacted more than 2 million voters as part of UU the Vote’s efforts in 2022. UU the Vote - the Unitarian Universalist Association’s (UUA) nonpartisan civic engagement initiative focused on strengthening democracy and organizing for justice, accountability, and healing - worked in all 50 states, with a special focus on 12 states, during the 2022 election cycle. The 12 states were Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, New Hampshire, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
“Unitarian Universalists are committed to protecting and strengthening democracy. We are guided by the shared values – and moral compass - articulated in our Seven Principles, including our Fifth Principle that affirms ‘the right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large,’” said the Rev. Dr. Susan Frederick-Gray, UUA President. “We hold the practice of democracy within society as sacred. To help realize a vision for American society where every voice matters and every voice is heard, we have partnered directly with the communities most subject to voter suppression tactics, especially Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC). These communities experience both systemic policies and threats of violent intimidation to prevent them from exercising their Constitutional rights. I am proud of the ways that UUs showed up across the country to make clear, measurable differences in the nation’s democratic processes.”
The UUA successfully conducted its first UU the Vote initiative in 2020. More than 450 UU congregations and more than 5,000 volunteers participated in voter mobilization, get out the vote, and election defense efforts in all 50 states during that presidential election year.
“UU congregations and individuals made a tremendous difference in democratic engagement in the 2022 election cycle across the nation, and in particular in our 12 focus states,” said Nicole Pressley, the UUA’s Field and Programs Director. “We equipped UUs and others to have values-based conversations around important ballot initiatives to deliver real wins for our communities. The partnerships we’ve built have allowed us to grow relationships in our local communities and harness our collective power for justice, equity and accountability in our elections.”
For instance, in Pennsylvania, UU the Vote volunteers helped voters in a predominantly Black community in Philadelphia access their new polling location after their usual voting site was closed without advance notice on election day. Samm Pheiffer of the Positive Women’s Network – an initiative partner – asked for assistance from UU the Vote volunteers when she learned that voters who had been voting at one location for generations were unaware that their voting place had moved. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer , nearly 200 voters were supported by the collaborative effort.
In 2022, UU the Vote focused on ballot initiatives in several states - Colorado, Florida, Kentucky, Michigan, Texas, and Virginia - to make sure all communities can protect their rights at the local, state, and federal levels. A number of ballot initiatives that will have long-term implications for reproductive justice, voting rights, direct democracy, labor rights, education, health care, and more were voted on in November. In Arizona, Georgia, New Hampshire, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, UU the Vote focused on educating voters on the issues at stake during this campaign cycle.
UU the Vote worked on ballot initiatives, democratic engagement and voter education with partners on the ground that included UU state action networks and organizations like the Poor People’s Campaign, Florida Rising, the New Georgia Project, POWER, Wisdom, Vote Forward, KY Health Justice Network, Planned Parenthood, Michigan Voices, and Fems for Democracy.
Visit UU the Vote to learn more!
About the UUA
The UUA is the central organization for the Unitarian Universalist (UU) religious movement in the United States. Our faith is diverse and inclusive and the UUA’s 1000+ member congregations are committed to Seven Principles that hold closely the worth and dignity of each person as sacred, the need for justice and compassion, the right of conscience, and respect for the interdependent nature of all existence.