SAAVETXEF South Asian American Voter Empowerment Education Fund

SAAVETXEF South Asian American Voter Empowerment Education Fund

SAAVETX EF will increase voter engagement by expanding the electorate. We plan to invest early in innovative tools and repeated outreach to find and register potential voters in 8 heavily South Asian counties. This tool will help us overcome barriers to registering. Investing in voter files and cleaning lists

SAAVETXEF South Asian American Voter Empowerment Education Fund

SAAVETX EF will increase voter engagement by expanding the electorate. We plan to invest early in innovative tools and repeated outreach to find and register potential voters in 8 heavily South Asian counties. This tool will help us overcome barriers to registering. Investing in voter files and cleaning lists for accuracy is a high priority. Staff and volunteers will text, call, and do in-person outreach to assure completed registrations and navigation to the polls. SAAVETX will register 10,000 new voters in 2022 and turn out 60% of our newly registered voters in the November election. We will register, educate, and empower South Asian voters. Started in 2017, a purely volunteer, South Asian American Voter Engagement of Texas Education Fund (SAAVETX EF) is increasing South Asian civic engagement. Led by South Asians for South Asians, we began our grassroots work with voter registration. For the first time, South Asian voters in Texas were being engaged by canvassers and volunteers from our community, building trust, strengthening relationships, and expanding our network. Through these face-to-face conversations, SAAVETX EF heard that our community felt underrepresented and overlooked by political parties, discriminated against in our neighborhoods, and ignored by candidates and elected officials. Our ability to scale and mobilize the first statewide outreach for South Asians in Texas makes us uniquely qualified to implement a strategic outreach plan. SAAVETX EF is a year-round, evergreen organization building deep relationships with our community. From educating voters about local elections to connecting them to their elected officials to assist with federal and local issues. We are a trusted partner for reliable information during times of need, including storms, power outages, redistricting, city council and school board elections, and vaccination drives. Consistent messaging and engagement have allowed us to stay relevant to our community's needs and quickly dismantle disinformation.

About the Organization:

SAAVETX EF will increase voter engagement by expanding the electorate. We plan to invest early in innovative tools and repeated outreach to find and register potential voters in 8 heavily South Asian counties. This tool will help us overcome barriers to registering. Investing in voter files and cleaning lists for accuracy is a high priority. Staff and volunteers will text, call, and do in-person outreach to assure completed registrations and navigation to the polls. SAAVETX will register 10,000 new voters in 2022 and turn out 60% of our newly registered voters in the November election. We will register, educate, and empower South Asian voters. Started in 2017, a purely volunteer, South Asian American Voter Engagement of Texas Education Fund (SAAVETX EF) is increasing South Asian civic engagement. Led by South Asians for South Asians, we began our grassroots work with voter registration. For the first time, South Asian voters in Texas were being engaged by canvassers and volunteers from our community, building trust, strengthening relationships, and expanding our network. Through these face-to-face conversations, SAAVETX EF heard that our community felt underrepresented and overlooked by political parties, discriminated against in our neighborhoods, and ignored by candidates and elected officials. Our ability to scale and mobilize the first statewide outreach for South Asians in Texas makes us uniquely qualified to implement a strategic outreach plan. SAAVETX EF is a year-round, evergreen organization building deep relationships with our community. From educating voters about local elections to connecting them to their elected officials to assist with federal and local issues. We are a trusted partner for reliable information during times of need, including storms, power outages, redistricting, city council and school board elections, and vaccination drives. Consistent messaging and engagement have allowed us to stay relevant to our community's needs and quickly dismantle disinformation.

organizational budget

$500,000 - $1 MILLION

existence for

6-10 YEARS

The Issue:

Thousands of South Asian American voters are dissuaded from registering to vote or are facing voter suppression in Texas. South Asians are the fastest-growing minority population in Texas. SAAVETX EF has been operating in Texas for 5 years with a full volunteer staff. SAAVETX EF needs funding in order to make its efforts sustainable. Consistent and long-term contact with voters is essential to increasing voter turnout. Texas does not have a funded outreach program for South Asians, which leads to voter apathy, disenfranchisement, and low voter turnout. New Texas voter suppression laws directly target immigrant communities. We have no online voter registration. Thousands of eligible South Asian voters are not registered. Texas has 280,000 registered South Asian voters. We estimate that there are more than 500,000 potential South Asian American voters in Texas. We need programs that are able to keep up with the rapid growth of our community. The barrier to registration includes inaccessibility and penalties for minor offenses put on voter deputies who traditionally serve immigrant communities. Mail-in ballots are limited to the elderly. Language barriers to voting and curing ballots adds obstacles to casting a vote. Limited resources and outreach to our community prevent our community from voting. We need resources to educate our community on the civic process while empowering them with resources and tools. Our greatest obstacle is not having funding to consistently be in communities where our voters are. We need voter education, resources, and staff to conduct outreach. 10,000 South Asians were purged from the polls in 2022. Many were purged because they did not vote after they were registered. Many felt disenfranchised from the process. Voter suppression tactics are impacting our community. In recent elections, many of our elders’ mail-in ballots were rejected. With little or no resources, it was difficult to timely remedy every ballot. Language barriers and the ability to navigate the complex process to cure ballots meant lost votes Discrimination and voter suppression push our community into the shadows. Barriers to voting make us less likely to vote, and our community’s voice is silenced. We feel powerless and overlooked.

The Solution:

SAAVETX EF will increase voter engagement by expanding the electorate. We plan to invest early in innovative tools and repeated outreach to find and register potential voters in 8 heavily South Asian counties. This tool will help us overcome barriers to registering. Investing in voter files and cleaning lists for accuracy is a high priority. Staff and volunteers will text, call, and do in-person outreach to assure completed registrations and navigation to the polls. SAAVETX will register 10,000 new voters in 2022 and turn out 60% of our newly registered voters in the November election. We will register, educate, and empower South Asian voters. To increase turnout, we build community. Funding for SAAVETX EF would help us build long-term relationships with volunteers and voters. Hosting culturally specific events allows us to develop visibility, trust, and respect. These connections allow us to build a pipeline to share information about voting. Culturally specific marketing is attention-grabbing and inclusive. Brochures in native languages connect with our voters and expand our reach. Consistent, reliable communication enables us to protect our community from voter suppression tactics. The 2022 cycle highlighted challenges for minority voters. A record number of mail-in ballots were rejected, and voters received minimal notice of problems. Staff and resources would allow us to intervene early to better educate our elders, college students, and voters abroad about available resources and tools. Our community would be more engaged with voting if we had resources in multiple languages to help guide voters to the polls and through the process of curing ballots. Funds could pay for translators to help remedy ballots. South Asian poll watchers and greeters would welcome our community to the polls, and ensure that everyone who is eligible can cast their ballot.

Get Updates about the Gold Futures Challenge

Join our email list to receive challenge updates!