Civic and political participation are core values here at SAALT. While its important to be engaged on a consistent basis, not just during election cycles, no one can deny that the act of voting is one of the most meaningful expressions of democratic participation. There’s been a lot of talk about this election, and there’s nothing wrong with getting swept up in the excitement of the presidential race.
If you need any additional convincing, check out this video:
Check out a great article from the New Jersey Star Ledger about the October 1st briefing on the South Asian community in New Jersey. The briefing included Assemblyman Upendra Chivukula and Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Transportation, Kris Kolluri. The panel featured speakers from the Sikh Coalition, Manavi and CAIR-NJ and was moderated by SAALT Policy Director, Priya Murthy. You can read the articles here<http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2008/10/njs_growing_south_asian_commun.html>
To read SAALT resources about the South Asian community in New Jersey, click here <http://www.saalt.org/pages/Local-Initiatives%3A-New-Jersey.html>
Watch a clip of Assemblyman Chivukula (the first South Asian to be elected to the New Jersey state Assembly) speaking about the New Jersey South Asian community. To his left is Kris Kolluri, the Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Transportation and to his right is Mark Murphy from the Fund for New Jersey. Moderating the discussion is Deepa Iyer, Executive Director of SAALT.
So the first (and only) Vice Presidential debate is taking place tonight. There’s been a lot of chatter, in the blogosphere, the mainstream media and, undoubtedly, in more than a few personal conversations, about the importance of this debate. Considering that this is the only time we will be able to see Sen. Joseph Biden and Gov. Sarah Palin face off, I am hoping that people tune in. The debate will be moderated by Gwen Ifill, who moderates Washington Week and is a senior correspondent on NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. Ifill also moderated the 2004 debate between Dick Cheney and John Edwards in 2004. I think its going to be an exciting two hours and I hope everyone tunes into all the major channels at 9pm EST.
SAALT is gearing up for Be the Change 2008 and we wanted to thank all of our planning teams and local volunteers who have worked so hard over the past few months to plan for this national day of service! Be the Change, formerly known as the National Gandhi Day of Service, is coordinated by SAALT along with volunteers around the country. This year, we are excited that the event will be held in over 60 cities and campuses! You can find a full list of the cities and campuses here.This year’s theme for Be the Change is “Solidarity in Service” and we want to encourage all of our volunteers to keep this theme in mind when they are volunteering this year. This theme reflects the way community service can build coalitions, strengthen relationships, and bring about solidarity among people of different backgrounds.
Examples of service sites this year include:
Books to Prisons: Volunteers will be reading letters from prisoners, selecting books that match their request, and packaging the books to send the prisoners (Washington DC)
Hands on Atlanta Volunteers will be building wheelchair ramps, mentoring individuals in computer skills, and more. (Atlanta)
Ronald McDonald House: Volunteers will prepare a meal for, and serve families whose children are seriously ill and receiving treatment at nearby hospitals. (San Francisco)
Kids Enjoy Exercise Now (KEEN): Volunteers will be conducting recreational activities for kids in the program who have are mentally or physically challenged. (New York City)
Boston Healthcare for the Homeless: Volunteers will be
working with patients by leading activities like games, crafts, entertainment, etc.These are just a mere few service sites that Be the Change volunteers will be participating in this year. Stay tuned for an update about how Be the Change went and how you can continue your community involvement.