By Seems Govil
As many of you know, the 2020 election is the most critical election of our lifetimes, given that so much is at stake for South Asians not just in Austin, but across Texas and the country.
Many issues are on the line, both of values and policy: the steady, scientifically based management of the Covid pandemic and our healthcare infrastructure, getting our economy back on its feet by creating sustainable jobs that will last into the coming decades and encourage small and medium enterprises, an immigrant policy that is fair and works for all in our community, the global climate crisis (which in the US is reflected in the hurricanes and flooding in the Southeast, with fires burning hundreds and thousands of acres in the West coast), an education policy that works to ensure good public schools, overcoming systemic racism and so much more.
In this regard, South Asian Americans have woken up and are active at work getting out the vote – groups like the Austin Asian Communities Civic Coalition (AACCC), a coalition of civic groups - is conducting non-partisan voter education and outreach to community groups, faith groups and other South Asian organizations in Central Texas.
TheySeeBlue/Desi Blue (www.theyseeblue.com) is an all-volunteer, nationwide group that has active chapters in Austin, Dallas and Houston – and are having phone banks for Democrats every Saturday working with other AAPI groups, “Desis calling Desis” and also introducing Texas House Candidates to a broader South Asian audience.
So, what can you do now as a responsible citizen?
2. Make a plan to vote for yourself, your family and friends- check your registration status, then decide how you’re going to vote -- by mail, early, or in-person on November 3, 2020.
We highly recommend that you vote EARLY in person in order to avoid the lines on Election Day itself – in Texas, early voting starts on October 13th.
Especially given the pandemic, it’s the smart and safer way to vote. If you need to vote by mail, please do so EARLY too.
For voting in Texas, you must be registered latest by October 5th this year. Remember, Early Voting starts on October 13th!!
You can get started by going to www.votetravis.com which has information and up-to-date polling information for Travis Co, call 512-854-9473 and https://www.wilco.org/departments/elections (for Williamson Co., call 512-943-1630).
For Vote by Mail, the deadline for applying is October 23, 2020 (received, not postmarked, so apply much earlier than that!!).
If you can help with the Elections in Travis Co, please see this site for application and information: https://countyclerk.traviscountytx.gov/elections/join-the-election-team.html For Williamson County, please contact Jose Orta at 512-818-9802 or Orta_Jose@hotmail.com