The Lord Mayor of Dublin Eibhlin Byrne will launch a new initiative by the Office for Integration Dublin City Council on Oct 7th at the Mansion House at 10.30am. This new and innovative project will raise awareness amongst migrants resident in the city on their right to vote, the need to register to vote and the how to vote on election day.
The Lord Mayor Eibhlin Byrne said, “Our city is enriched by those who have chosen to live and work here. It is important that all their voices are heard so that together we can create a vibrant city for the 21st century.”
According to Kazik Anhalt from Poland who represents the Federation of Polish Organisations “ It is important that from a social inclusion perspective that migrants are informed of their right to vote and this collaborative approach between the City Council and the migrant community is the best way to do it”.
The initiative will be promoted with a focused advertising campaign within migrant communities in tandem with a general awareness campaign stressing the importance of registering to vote by 1st Nov 2008 during European Democracy week commencing 6th Oct 2008.
It will include the launch of promotional materials targeted at new communities highlighting voter registration for the local elections. Posters will include representation of a number of cultural communities and will be available in 25 languages such as Polish, Lithuanian, Arabic, Chinese and Spanish.
The Vincentian Partnership for Social Justice, is on board to provide voter education training to 75 members of ethnic minority communities. Following completion of a one day training course these 75 trainers will in turn set out to deliver a programme of voters education sessions across the city in local community centres and places of worship used by migrants.
The initiative is an action consistent with the City Council commitment to promote integration in the city in partnership with migrant networks as set out in the recently launched strategy “Towards Integration, A City Framework.”
Notes to the Editor
- The Vincentian Partnership for Social Justice, was established in 1996 to work for social and economic change by tackling poverty and exclusion
- The right of immigrants resident in the city to vote is quite unique in a European context where such a right is not usually immediately available to new arrivals. With over 15% of city population from a migrant background and with a majority migrant population in several inner city wards the opportunity is there for the migrant voice to be heard in the future decision making of the city.
- Facilitating participation in the political life of the city is a key element in promoting and supporting the integration of ethnic minorities in the life of the city. The concept was developed through a steering group representing 14 nationalities brought together by the Office for Integration City Council.