V IS FOR VOTE Hits the Road in Florida, Ohio, and Colorado
TOUR FEATURES V-DAY FOUNDER/PLAYWRIGHT EVE ENSLER ALONGSIDE COMMUNITY LEADERS AND ACTIVISTS RALLYING WOMEN TO VOTE TO END VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN
-Day, the global movement to end violence against women and girls, is taking its grassroots voting campaign - V Is For Vote – on the road to inspire women to vote and to elevate violence against women as an important issue in the 2004 Elections. Eve Ensler, V-Day Founder and Artistic Director/Playwright, will lead the V-team through Florida, Ohio and Colorado. In each city, the V Is For Vote delegation will meet with local women’s shelters and programs, activist groups, students, politicians, anti-violence, arts and community leaders to promote voting as activism and a vote to end violence against women.
The campaign which launched this spring encourages V-Day activists, local women and college students to declare themselves a “V-Posse Leader,” thereby organizing get out the vote activities, educational events and outreach around violence against women as an election year issue. V-Posse leaders are registered in 44 states and the District of Columbia.
On the link between the campaign and V-Day’s mission, Ensler stated, “Each year, thousands of V-Day activists stand up to end violence against women educating thousands of people and raising over $25 million. These women and men are every day leaders in their communities in the fight to end violence against women. Voting IS another form of activism, the time has come to take that vagina power to the polls!”
V Is For Vote Itinerary Highlights:
September 20, 2004 - At 11:00am, Miami-Dade College’s North Campus will hold a V Is For Vote rally and voter registration event to get out the vagina vote. Afterward, Eve will be recognized for her activism as part of Miami Dade’s inaugural Civic Revolutionary Series to honor prominent activists. While in Miami, Eve and V-Day staff will hold a press conference at a local domestic violence shelter, which will include a discussion of how violence forces women into shelters, and how battered women can vote to end violence. There will also be a briefing on the shelter’s history and appreciation of Vagina Warrior staff members.
September 22, 2004 – A press conference with the Rape Crisis & Abuse Center of Hamilton County will take place at the Community Law Center Building. Eve and the center staff will discuss the Vote against Violence and how their loss of VAWA funding impacts the sexual assault services to women and girls in Cincinnati.
September 22, 2004 – Eve and local Columbus politicians and prominent figures in the arts community will hold a press conference downtown at the Hyatt, 4:00pm, to discuss local violence against women issues and voting as activism. A V Is For Vote rally with Eve, local politicians, and prominent figures in the local arts community, as well as a Vagina Vote Essay reading, will take place at 5:30pm at the Ohio Statehouse in Capitol Square.
September 27, 2004 – Ensler will speak at Colorado University, Boulder about her work with V-Day. The program starts at 4:00pm and will take place on campus at the Glenn Miller Ballroom. The first 1200 audience members will be accomodated, no reservations necessary.
September 28, 2004 – In a state that’s currently a national center of attention for violence against women, Eve and V-Day Boulder organizers will hold a Vagina Vote rally at 12:00pm outside the Boulder courthouse. Former Senator Dorothy Rupert is scheduled to speak. Later that day, at The Dairy Center for the Arts, 5:30pm, Eve will also attend and give a speech at the Get Out the Women’s Vote Training.
The tour wraps in Boulder but the V Is For Vote Campaign will continue through the election with V-Posse leaders holding localized events and get out the vote gatherings. The tour will encourage young women and men to become active in local as well as national political issues.
V Is For Vote is a grassroots voting campaign created with and by the thousands of local V-Day activists and organizers in the U.S. V-Day is outreaching to the political candidates urging them to make Violence Against Women a central issue of their campaign platform alongside jobs, education, security and healthcare, not a sideline or women’s issue. Ultimately, V-Day will mobilize its activism into political power through V Is For Vote as V-Day supporters “Vote to End Violence.” V Is For Vote. The message is simple, but for millions of women and children around the world, it could mean the difference of a lifetime.
THE ISSUE: VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN:
Why should violence against women and girls be central to the 2004 election? A two-year study conducted by the Center for the Advancement of Women shows that women want a new movement with new priorities. In the nationally representative study 92% of women identified that reducing domestic and sexual violence is their top policy priority, followed by pay equity, childcare and healthcare. In addition, a nationally representative poll conducted by Penn and Schoen demonstrated that 92% of Americans believe that violence against women is an important problem that is not getting enough attention and the majority (55%) thinks that law enforcement agencies are not doing enough to prevent it.
Unmarried women are the LARGEST group of people not participating in our democracy, and have the greatest potential to change the outcome of this election. Sixteen million unmarried women are unregistered; more than 22 million didn’t vote in 2000. Over 75% of V-Day activists are college age and fall within this category.
V-Day is a global movement to end violence against women and girls that raises funds and awareness through benefit productions of Playwright/Activist/V-Day Founder Eve Ensler’s award-winning play The Vagina Monologues. In 2004, over 2000 V-Day events will take place in the U.S. and around the world. To date, V-Day has raised over $25 million and educated millions about the issue of violence against women and the efforts to end it, crafted national media and PSA campaigns, funded over 2000 community-based anti-violence programs, reopened shelters, and built safe houses in Kenya, South Dakota, Egypt, India and Iraq.
For more information on V Is For Vote: www.vday.org/vote
To learn more about how to get involved with V-Day, visit www.vday.org