Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Featured unregistered voter: Heather

Heather was in our Voter Registratoin Ads at VH1 in 2004. She wasn't registered at the time I met her. I followed up with her to see what has happened since:

On the 2004 Election:
By the time that the ad taped I had registered and actually what happened was weird.

I registered to vote at Sephora, and then when I went to the polls they didn’t have my name on the list - so they said there was a form I could fill out. I actually got a form a couple weeks later –but they said “your vote didn’t count”, which I thought was ironic. The registration hadn’t gone through or something. I voted for Kerry , and Kerry won in New York – so it didn’t really matter.

So I guess that’s it.

On registering now:
After that – I didn’t get around to it. It wasn’t a presidential election.

I’m going to be an English teacher, so I care about politics, but I kind of just forgot about it. I'm from Connecticut and there was a lot going on last summer with Ned Lamont and Lieberman. I just had whatever going on at school, and it sort of slipped my mind. I’d like to be involved in local elections, but with school and working I sort of forget about that - and not being a native New Yorker, I don’t feel attached – I don’t know all the local politics in Brooklyn , who the councilmen are...

I understand why people feel their votes don’t count. Going into education – I notice how little funding education gets – in Bushwick when I was teaching we didn’t have enough books, the facility felt like a prison... There’s schools on Long Island that have thousands more dollars per student – it’s really sad and it feels like it’s not a concern that gets seriously addressed by politicians. They give it lip service – like "No Child Left Behind" but it’s not genuinely doing anything to help the students.

It’s ironic that Bush doesn’t want to set deadlines for Iraq but he’s set this deadline for 2014 when the achievement gap between whites and minorities, and poor and rich students is supposed to be closed. Kids in poor schools don’t have the money to prepare. It becomes about studying to take the test rather than learning the subject matter.

Is she regisered to vote now?
No – I’m going to register as soon as I move back to Connecticut.

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