By: Giuliana Schroeder – Individual Giving Director

Recently I sat down with Franco Garcia, EHC’s associate director of organizing, to talk about civic engagement and what it means for our communities.

Franco, why is civic engagement in our communities important?

Historically, low-income families of color are unlikely to vote. When we vote, we can positively impact election results. When we don’t vote, we give up the opportunity to create a safer and healthier environment for our families.

How many people in our communities vote?

The chart below shows that 60 percent of California is made up of communities of color, yet only 35 percent of us vote. To ensure the policies that will build #healthyhoods win, we have to change this picture.

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What does EHC hope to accomplish with its civic engagement work in 2018?

Ultimately, we want voting to represent the community voice. We want to empower our residents to go to the polls so we can ensure the policies that pass reflect our needs and what we know will build #healthyhoods.

EHC has a track record of impacting elections and the culture of voting. Every investment in EHC enables us to provide resources to empower the most marginalized communities to find their voice and use it at the polls.

To learn more about our civic engagement efforts or to get involved, please contact Franco at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

EHC election blog

The morning of November 9 was bittersweet.

Locally, we felt strong as we celebrated major victories for our communities, including the election of Georgette Gomez to City Council. Nationally, we felt a mountain grow in front of us.

As 2016 comes to a close, we want to share a message of hope and courage. We invite you to join us as we celebrate our local victories while we march forward as an unwavering and unstoppable charge for justice.

Get involved in our neighborhoods, explore environmental justice job opportunities, follow our movement on social media and remember that in 2017 and beyond, we stand united.

Dominique edit2

“It’s okay to feel upset, angry and scared. We’re all feeling that way. Let’s take comfort in a network of allies that care about justice and will come together stronger than ever.”
Dominique Navarro, Fund Development Associate



Franco Garcia

“Do not be discouraged. Our victories at the local level were really important. I can’t emphasize enough that San Diego had one of the highest voter turnouts of any major county in California. Everything EHC supported locally went our way. We’re happy, but we’re not resting on it.”
Franco Garcia, Associate Director of Organizing


Lilia Escalante
“After the election, people’s attitudes were very grey. If at any point we were disconnected, now is the time for us to unite. The way I see it, if you’re angry or upset, channel it into something good.”
Lilia Escalante, Fiscal Manager



When we speak in unison, we stay strong, and our communities cannot be ignored. To make election day easy on November 8, we’ve put together this voting guide to highlight the most important propositions for justice in our neighborhoods.

voter empowerment

No on Measure A: Protect our children’s health

Say no to a deceptive 40-year tax increase that pays for freeway expansion and air pollution.

No on Measure C: No Downtown Stadium

Say no to a $1 billion tax dollar giveaway. Put our neighborhoods first!

No on Measure D: Protect Our Neighborhoods

Say no to a stadium or convention center on top of residential neighborhoods.

Yes on K: Restore Democracy

Vote yes to prevent insiders from controlling City Hall. Voters should choose their city representatives from the top two vote getters.

Yes on L: Full Voter Participation

Vote yes to allow San Diego voters to decide on propositions in November, when most people vote.

Pledge to use your voice, and your vote, on November 8, 2016.

Click here to learn about registering to vote.

Learn more about EHC's voter empowerment efforts and how to use your voice for justice on election day.

When you get ready to head to the polls on election day, here are a few tips to make your day successful:

Voter Empowerment

1. Register to vote and check which political party you're registered with.

2. Read up on candidates and ballot measures. 

3. Know your polling location. If you don't know your polling location, visit the San Diego County Registrar of Voters to find out where you vote. Plan accordingly to make sure you have enough time to complete your ballot.

4. Secure a babysitter or take shifts with other parents so everyone can take the time to vote. 

5. Know your voting rights. For instance, if you are not on the list of registered voters or someone asks for your ID, you have options. Before you go, read the rights every voter has in California.

6. You can take a sample ballot or a list of candidates with you to the polling locations. You can even bring in an endorsement list, just as long as that item you have does not contain any campaign advertisements.

7. If you need help voting, you are allowed to have a family member, a friend or caregiver in the booth to assist you.

8. If you are unsure about something on your ballot, ask for assistance from an election official. Do not be embarrassed to ask for help.

9. Don't feel rushed. Take your time when you enter the voting booth.

10. Be prepared to stand in line. There is a good chance you will be standing in line at some polling locations in order to vote.

Remember, you can always contact EHC if you have any questions by calling (619) 474-0220 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information. Make sure you get out to vote and encourage your neighbors to do the same.