GREENBURGH, N.Y. — A local church has teamed up with other local organizations to arrange a voter-education advocacy forum this Saturday.
Union Baptist Church of Greenburgh partnered with the African American Men of Westchester in what will be a non-partisan effort to bridge the gap between voters and elected officials at the Greenburgh Town Hall, said Gail Lloyd, the Union Baptist Church office manager.
"This is not the church talking about one particular candidate," Lloyd said. "It's the church educating people about voting. People need to understand what it means and the fact that their vote really counts."
The event will begin with a free breakfast at 9:30 a.m., followed by speakers including State Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins, who is running for re-election to represent Greenburgh in the 35th district, and Ken Jones, a Greenburgh Town Board member.
A panel, including Sonja Brown, the Greenburgh NAACP vice president and Greenburgh Central School Board of Education member, and Gail Wright Sirmans, a local civil rights attorney, will also be available to answer questions.
Melvin Burruss, president of the AAMW, said his organization has been rallying county residents to vote in the upcoming election because only citizens have the power to change the high unemployment rate, child care subsidy cuts and the low graduation rates in schools that are both local and national issues.
"Voting isn't just our responsibility. It's a source of power," Burruss said. "We want to teach residents that — if you don't vote, you lose."
The AAMW is involved in yearlong events dedicated to bringing the attention of social, economic and educational issues to the county. Its members have already prompted 250 county residents to register for voting this year, Burruss said.
The AAMW's collaboration with the church and other non-profit organizations was an easy choice because all participants in the upcoming event share the same goal, he added.
"The church teaches the soul, but that's more than just teaching the soul. It's helping them to live their lives and maintain a decent life," Burruss said.