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Binghamton, N.Y.

YWCA Binghamton’s Housing Residents Realize That Their Voices Matter Through Voter Registration

YWCA Binghamton helps women regain homes and their voices through their own voter registration.

 “Getting registered and voting is a privilege that should not be taken lightly and is the ultimate way to empower your voice as a woman” said Residential Director, Nancy Johnson, to the residents of the YWCA Binghamton transitional housing program. Nancy and the staff of the YWCA Binghamton held their own voter registration, this month, for the residents and staff of their housing programs. For the past month, Nancy and some of her staff have spent a fair amount of time sharing inspirational voting quotes and emphasizing the importance of being a registered voter, and voting in general. They highlighted some of the critical issues impacting women in this year’s elections, on all fronts: federal, state, and local.

Many of the residents have never voted or they came from families that never voted.  So it is important that these women understand not only how hard women in the past have fought for their right to vote, but also that their voice and votes do matter. The starting point for changing this generational mindset and empowering the voices of these women is to provide them with education in local, state and national policies that have a major affect on their lives. 

As the only designated women’s shelter program in the County, many women rely on the YWCA Binghamton’s educational and supportive programs. Without these housing programs many of the women in that community would continue to be not only uneducated voters, but worse, homeless or living in unsafe places not meant for human habitation. At the Binghamton YWCA all five of their housing programs provide a safe, affordable living situation in which women can work toward habitation or rehabilitation that will enable them to live as productive women within the community. And once they become productive women in the community they can continue their education, go on to college, and receive job training, which are all things that have the potential to change depending on the turnout of this election. But thankfully, the residents and staff of the YWCA Binghamton’s housing programs are ready to change their fate and have their voices heard.