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The Mental Health Voter Empowerment Project
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Join the Mental Health Voter Empowerment Project - There is no cost to you!
I'm Happy to Help the Voter Project
"Speaking for the Mental Health Voter Empowerment Project (MHVEP) has been a rewarding experience."
Voting Equals the Power to be Heard
"It's the year 2002, an Election Year, and WE have the right to Vote! "
The Vote is the Sword We Use to Slay Dragons
"Now, we are no longer powerless. To vote is to have power."
The Mental Health Voter Empowerment Project
"We cannot rely on the compassion of our politicians. We need laws to protect us. Remember: YOU VOTE, YOU COUNT!"
Vote: It Begins with You
"Here is my vision: one vote at a time, inch by inch, row by row we are going to make our garden grow. I see a garden of mental health consumers voting and being politically aware. Every vote counts. It begins with you and me."
What is the Mental Health Voter Empowerment Project? - "MHVEP is about getting people out to vote who understand the need for change in the mental health care delivery system, and the stigma and prejudice that engulfs people living with mental illnesses."
A Personal Awakening - By Ken Steele, MHVEP Founder - "the Governor said ... this landmark mental health legislation was the right thing to do, but he knew it would win him no large block of votes, and it would probably cost him votes"
The Making of the Voter Empowerment Project - "... at the same time my delusional voices stopped, ... new, riveting, real voices replaced them. In late 1994, these frightening, angry, selfish voices began to fill my consciousness. These were voices which wanted to abandon disadvantaged people, including the mentally ill -- including me."
The Awakening of a Constituency - "The first challenge others have had to overcome to change their circumstances was changing the way they see themselves. They needed to define themselves in a positive way as individuals, and as a group of people, before they could change the false, misleading images given to them by others."
Gentle Drive to Make Voters of Those With Mental Illness - "An estimated 44 million Americans meet the diagnostic criteria for some form of mental disorder, according to the National Institute of Mental Health" - from the New York Times
It Begins With Me - "What started as one man's way of overcoming the years he lost while living with schizophrenia is growing from a citywide and statewide effort into a nationwide drive to register, educate and get consumers out to vote."
Voter Empowerment Takes Western New York - "MHVEP trainings are providing an excellent networking opportunity ... building the grassroots momentum essential to a civil rights movement."
Millennium Brings Voter Project National - "People with mental disorders are among America's most disenfranchised groups, and our efforts to build a mental illness constituency amounts to one of the last great civil rights movements."
Six Steps to Launching a Voter Empowerment Campaign
Internet Voting & Legal Resources...
- The National Technical Assistance Center for State Mental Health Planning - Answers to Commonly Asked Questions About Voter Registration.
- The League of Woman Voters - a page on voter information and registration. For most states, you can download and print the voter registration form, and mail it in.
- Project Vote Smart - "facts on your political leaders, including biographies and addresses, issue positions, voting records, campaign finances, evaluations by special interests," and a guide to Voter Registration & Election Dates for each state.
- Insure Democracy - "includes links to federal, state and private voter registration and information sites, as well as important primary dates and deadlines."
- The Federal Election Commission - information about Elections and Voting, and State Voter Registration Requirements.
- New York State Board of Elections - The NYS Board of Elections offers useful information, including election law, political calendars, district maps, and links to county boards of elections.
- New York State General Law and Current Legislation - New York State legislation existing and pending.
- Federal Law and and Current Legislation - Federal legislation existing and pending.
- United States Department of Justice - Civil Rights Division - responsible for enforcement of several laws designed to safeguard the right to vote, including the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the National Voter Registration Act of 1993.
- Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law - "Legal advocacy for the civil rights and human dignity of people with mental disability"
Miriam Wexler, Project Director (212) 989-6215, email@example.com
The Mental Health Voter Empowerment Project is funded by grants from the federal Center for Mental Health Services and the Janssen Pharmaceutica and Research Foundation. MHVEP also appreciates the support of the New York State Office of Mental Health and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
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