Project Ready Helps Register Newark Voters

Sep 27, 2019

Project Ready was started a little more than a year ago in Newark
Credit Brit Harley for WBGO News

This past Tuesday was National Voter Registration Day.  WBGO’s Brit Harley caught up with a local organization in Newark that’s trying to help the community while getting out important voter information.

Cases of bottled water are being loaded onto the carts of Newark residents in Lincoln Park…near Clinton Avenue…it’s the latest effort by Project Ready to get more people in the city registered to vote.  Shennell McCloud is the executive director of Project Ready.

"We had a little over a couple hundred residents come out which we're really excited about.  We gave out more than about two thousand cases of water, two per household, which we're excited to have the opportunity do.  We had some great conversations with community members around what it looks like to vote, what it looks like and what it looks like to give back to the community." 

The day before city officials announced the most recent filter results…and said 97 percent of those water filters are working…..but bottle water is still being provided for those who want it.

More than 200 people showed up at Lincoln Park on National Voter's Registration day
Credit Brit Harley for WBGO News

While there’s so much voter apathy statewide in New Jersey, Shennell McCloud says its much worse in her city.

"One of the reasons I started Project Ready a little over a year ago in the city of Newark is because I want Project Ready to be working in communities where I think the voices are largely underrepresented.  One of the measures I have on underrepresentation is how much of the community is activated around voting.  So what we saw in 2016 here in Newark, and that's when we were voting for our next president, only 40 percent of Newarkers actually voted in that presidential election."

While many people showed up to get bottled water…having access to so many residents during the four-hour event was a good opportunity for McCloud and her Project Ready team to get their message out….…..

On this day, it was a good vibe in Lincoln Park, as residents seemed to support each other and engaged in friendly conversations.  For more information, you can go to www.projectreadynj.org

Click above to hear Brit Harley's feature.