The Right Question Institute’s “Why Vote?” Tool fosters a strong sense of urgency for people in low-income communities who are not regular voters to vote. They begin to see voting as a self-advocacy role they can and want to play. The “Why Vote?” Tool allows people to:
The “Why Vote?” solution has great potential to increase turnout in low-income communities. We piloted our nonpartisan voter engagement strategy in ten states around the country, using key elements of the “Why Vote?” Tool. Data from work with adult literacy students in Arizona showed that after going through our program, participants felt more prepared to vote and more interested in voting.
Angie, a young mother in Concord, New Hampshire, said, “It’s at the welfare office that we learn our voice doesn’t count. But [after the Right Question Institute’s workshop], I see that our voices do count … and we need to vote.”
The evidence is clear:
This disparity between voting rates is a fundamental problem in our democracy. If we aim to address disparities in income, health, education, criminal justice, housing, and environmental protection, we must begin with addressing the disparities in voting rates.
Help make democracy work better. We are providing free technical assistance and materials to support use of the “Why Vote?” Tool by direct service programs — including social service agencies, food banks, shelters, early childhood and youth programs, and community and civic organizations — in states all around the country.
To take action to reach more people in low-income communities:
For inquiries and to tell us about your experiences, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Since 1990, RQI has worked with residents of low-income communities across the country. We’ve worked with sugar plantation workers in Hawaii, public housing tenants in Chicago, migrant workers in North Carolina, homeless shelter residents in Kentucky, and immigrant parents across multiple states, among others.
This work has shown the transformational effect of RQI’s strategy — where all people learn to ask better questions, participate more effectively in decisions, advocate for themselves, and hold decision-makers accountable on all levels of democracy. Randomized controlled trials funded by the National Institutes of Health have shown the efficacy of RQI’s approach in community health centers, and in K-12 education, millions of students around the globe have used RQI’s Question Formulation Technique to become more curious, self-motivated learners.
Luz Santana, RQI’s co-director, leads the “Why Vote?” Initiative and brings invaluable insights from her own experiences migrating from Puerto Rico, navigating the welfare system, and working for many years with frontline staff in direct service programs in low-income communities around the country. Santana is co-author with Dan Rothstein of Make Just One Change: Teach Students to Ask Their Own Questions, which has become one of Harvard Education Press’ all-time best sellers.
The hundreds of free resources you will find on our network will help you easily move into action to learn a strategy one day and facilitate the very next.
You’ll also get access to hundreds of free resources that will help you easily move into action to learn a strategy one day and facilitate the very next.