Community groups canvass Milwaukee neighborhoods, encourage people to vote

NOW: Community groups canvass Milwaukee neighborhoods, encourage people to vote

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Community groups have been hard at work throughout Election Day encouraging voters to head to the polls and they're answering any questions people may have.

"We have four elections this year," said Angela Lang, executive director for Black Leaders Organizing Communities (BLOC). "We just want to make sure that people are building the civic engagement muscle. They're getting into a routine of regularly voting, even when they may not support either candidate."

BLOC had canvassers out beginning at 8 a.m. Tuesday morning handing out flyers that contained information on when polls opened and closed and where people could find their polling location.

Shanice Jones is one of the canvassers that spent the day knocking on doors.

"I like to see the person I'm talking to and see how, what they feel," Jones explained. "It's better to contact them face to face because we get more interaction with them face to face."

Jones is grateful for the opportunity to speak with her fellow community members about issues that she feels are important to everyone.

"I want them to know we're not just robots calling them," Jones said, referring to what the phone banks and other work organizations like BLOC do during the year. "We're actually people that live in the community, too, and we care about this. That's why we're out here."

Karina Hinojosa Zavala did similar work for Voces de la Frontera Action, a group that endorsed Acting Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson in Tuesday's election.

As a DACA recipient, she isn't able to cast a vote herself, but is passionate about encouraging people who can to make their voice heard at the polls.

"I really feel like this is my home, but at the same time, I still have no right to vote even though I've lived my entire life in the city of Milwaukee," Hinojosa Zavala explained. "I feel like it's my responsibility to reach out to members of the community and ensure that they do use their right to vote and to make sure that their voices are being heard."

BLOC chose not to endorse a candidate for Milwaukee's mayoral election after Lang says both candidates, Acting Mayor Cavalier Johnson and Bob Donovan, didn't respond to a request for interviews for an endorsement conversation. She says that she hopes conversations with whoever wins the election can take place in the near future.

"We're going to be looking to set up a formal meeting from our office with the incoming mayor, whoever that is," Lang said. "We want to make sure we have a good relationship with that office whether we always agree or not."

Lang says she's excited to see how the newly-elected mayor will interact and engage with the community as a whole.

"In a campaign, you only have an opportunity to talk to the regular voters, the super voters, if you will. After the campaign, you represent everybody in Milwaukee, whether they voted for you or not, whether you engaged them in your campaign or not," Lang said. "There's going to be some ground to make up to really show that the mayor cares about what the community thinks."

Between BLOC and Voces de la Frontera Action, canvassers will have knocked on roughly 4,000 Milwaukee doors by the time polls close Tuesday.

Share this article: