PHILADELPHIA (September 21, 2012)—This Friday, September 21, and Friday, September 28, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 2800 N. American Street, CEIBA, Congreso, the Hispanic Bar Association of Pennsylvania, the National Council of La Raza, and Philadelphia VIP will join forces to bring Voter ID clinics to Eastern North Philadelphia. The clinics are an effort to ensure that this predominately Latino community is aware of the new law requiring that all voters have valid photo identification on election day, and to help them obtain the documents needed in order to get valid identification from PennDOT. Understanding that transportation is an issue for many in this economically disadvantaged community, Congreso is also offering free transportation to PennDOT on both days.
The group has also partnered with Philadelphia VIP, who will be providing pro-bono attorneys recruited to assist onsite with the most challenging circumstances. For example, new security measures led to US citizens born in Puerto Rico prior to 2010 having their birth certificates invalidated, requiring them to submit proof of identity to obtain a new birth certificate. For those who’ve yet to do so, they will have a number of steps to take prior to arriving at PennDOT’s door for a valid PA ID. There are also naturalized citizens, young people with no proof of residency, and the elderly that are expected to have additional challenges.
“This unprecedented effort is an example of how organizations need to be proactive in educating residents about the law, and then work together to find solutions to the obstacles that stand in the way of obtaining a valid ID by November 6th,” shared CEIBA Executive Director and Latino Subcommittee Chair Will Gonzalez. The National Council of La Raza is working in the region to register voters and also educate them about the new law. They will continue to register voters during the clinics.
Residents looking to attend either of the clinics are invited to register by calling 267-765-2260.