Fairfield County’s Community Foundation Launches Get Out The Vote Public Service Campaign

Oct 13, 2020

Nonpartisan Initiative Seeks to Empower Local Residents and Communities by Increasing Voter Engagement, Knowledge, and Participation

Key Partners Include Optimum, Haddad & Partners, and Local Nonprofits

(NORWALK, Conn.) – Fairfield County’s Community Foundation has kicked its 2020 civic education and community engagement initiatives into high gear with the launch of a multidimensional public service and community impact campaign to Get Out the Vote (GOTV). The countywide, nonpartisan initiative is aimed at encouraging voter registration and turnout in the November election, while empowering local residents to have a stronger voice in reimagining the future of their community, county, state, and nation. Additional information and voter resources can be found at FCCFoundation.org/VOTE.

Featuring television, radio, digital display advertising, online video, and social media activations as well as a grants program for frontline community nonprofit organizations, the Community Foundation’s goals are to increase voter engagement and participation, particularly among younger adults age 18-34; support organizations in reaching individuals whose voices are underrepresented in the political process; connect residents to upcoming voting opportunities via nonpartisan voter engagement activities; and provide information on additional opportunities to give all residents the opportunity to have their interests represented.

“At Fairfield County’s Community Foundation, we understand the vital role civic engagement has on the overall health and growth of a community,” said Juanita T. James, President and CEO, Fairfield County’s Community Foundation. “We are committed to advancing and promoting efforts, such as this campaign, that expand opportunities for civic engagement across Fairfield County to ensure all voices are heard.”

The Foundation’s GOTV grant program will offer support to nonprofits and other grassroots groups to boost local efforts to engage underrepresented voters in Fairfield County. As with previous GOTV, civic education, and 2020 Census efforts, the Community Foundation will work collaboratively with local organizations to increase the impact of community-based, nonpartisan efforts. This year’s GOTV grantees include Connecticut Students for a Dream, Make the Road, Bridgeport Generation Now, and FaithActs for Education.

“Increasing civic engagement helps to strengthen democracy, local governance, and creates an inclusive community that effectively meets the needs of all residents,” said Mendi Blue Paca, Chief Community Impact Officer, Fairfield County’s Community Foundation. “Opportunities exist across all of Fairfield County for people to get involved. This includes activities like voting, volunteering at polls, and advocating for systems-level change to increase equity and inclusion. We’re grateful to our partners in supporting this vital effort.”

Creative assets for the campaign were conceptualized and produced pro-bono for Fairfield County’s Community Foundation by Haddad & Partners, an award-winning, full-service, progressive design shop headquartered in Fairfield, CT with offices and employees all over the world, including Australia, Europe and South America. Through Haddad & Partners, the public service advertising includes a cameo by current Stratford resident and Bridgeport legend Chris Smith, former NBA player and UConn Men’s Basketball all-time leading scorer. Smith recently founded Wear Ya Mask!, a new venture he started to give ordinary people a nonconfrontational way to encourage others to consider the safety of those around them. Learn more at haddadandpartners.com.

DJ Haddad, CEO of Haddad & Partners, says, “Voting remains the most powerful civic action a U.S. citizen can take to make their voice heard. Civic engagement drives action on our region’s, state’s and country’s most pressing needs. And civic participation creates a stronger sense of our individual and collective stake in community life. We’re thrilled to partner with Fairfield County’s Community Foundation and our entire team is proud to support this campaign in the region that our company — and my family — calls home.”

The Community Foundation’s GOTV public service campaign is supported by Altice USA, the parent company of Optimum, which will distribute :30 public service advertising spots through Election Day into the homes of all Optimum TV customers in Fairfield County across a wide array of entertainment, lifestyle, sports, and news channels, including Altice-owned Cheddar and News12.

For key facts about civic participation and voting in Fairfield County from the 2019 Fairfield County Community Wellbeing Index visit FCCFoundation.org/VOTE.