Action Alert: Don’t Sit This One Out

There’s an often misunderstood thought that nonprofits aren’t allowed to get involved in elections. That assumption is false. Even though, 501c3 nonprofit organizations, like San Diego Pride, are not allowed to be partisan or tell you what candidates to vote for, we can absolutely register people to vote, take positions on ballot measures that impact our community directly in alignment with our mission, and take part in GOTV (get out the vote) efforts.

Every election cycle for the last decade, we have done just that, because we understand what’s at stake when our community doesn’t speak out, doesn’t engage, and fails to turn out to the polls. Prior to the passage of Proposition 8 in 2008, the polling was in our favor. As our community engaged in work to defeat the measure, we heard repeatedly “that will never pass in California” or “we’re fine, California is so progressive.” Ask any community organizer from the time and we’ll tell you how difficult it was to get our community to volunteer or turn out to vote. 

If you’re a frequent reader of my emails, you’re probably tired of me reminding you that in 2008 only 9,000 people volunteered during the entire year, but after we lost our freedom to marry nearly, 30,000 people marched in the street in protest. Think of the difference it could have made if 20,000 additional people had volunteered their time. I don’t say these things to shame anyone. I retell our history to remind us about what’s at stake when we don’t engage in the political process.

Every registered voter will receive a ballot in the mail. Fill it out and turn it in. If you need to update your voter info or register to vote, you have until August 30 to do so. If you would like to support us in our nonpartisan GOTV efforts, you can sign up for a volunteer shift here. If you would like to donate to Pride and support our year-round education and advocacy efforts, you can do so here. However you decide to be involved, at minimum, ensure you vote on or before September 14. It is only when our community turns out to vote that we can remain Resilient.


About Fernando

Fernando Lopez is the Executive Director of San Diego Pride. Lopez’s years of LGBT advocacy, nonprofit management, public education, diversity consulting, media relations, guest lectures, and organizing have made them a consistent presence ensuring the struggles of the LGBT community are ever visible.