On Saturday, August 16th we’ll all meet up at Anne Arundel County Fairgrounds for all day celebration featuring amazing musicians, homegrown talent, artisans all at the Silopanna Music Festival. But one vendor, in particular has a huge call to action. That’s right, Register to Vote!
I asked Headcount.org to write us up a little bit about their call to action and what we can expect at Silopanna 2014 from them. I know they’re rounding up some goodies to bring to the event – rumor is, diffraction glasses which will only enhance The Flaming Lips epic light show!
But in the meantime, if you check them out at Nissan Pavilion at some upcoming shows (ahem, Dave Matthews for example), you can get signed up to win some tickets to Silopanna Music Festival. You know, the festival named for Annapolis spelled backwards. So, here it is… a few words from Headcount.org. And don’t forget to register when you’re here on August 16th!
What happens on November 4, 2014? Hint: it involves the ENTIRE House of Representatives. If you guessed P. Diddy’s 45th birthday, you would be right, but that is definitely not what I was going for. November 4 is the date of the 2014 midterm elections. Midterms are important because all 435 seats in the House, along with a third of the Senate, are up for grabs.
Since the dawn of time, music and politics have gone hand-in-hand like hamburgers and French fries. You can insert your own simile into that last statement, but the point is, you really cannot have one without the other. HeadCount is a non-profit, non-partisan, volunteer organization that works with musicians to help harness the power of music and promote participation in the democratic process.
So how do we go about doing this? First and foremost, we stage voter registration drives at concerts and live music events. By reaching young people and music fans where they already are, at concerts and online, we make civic participation easy and fun. Over the past ten years, we have registered over 300,000 voters. Through partnering with over 100 bands and artists, we average 1,000 events a year. It is very important that young people keep in mind that many of the issues they care most about are decided on the local and state level. Over the past few years we have seen action in the realm of marriage equality, gun rights, marijuana legislation and women’s rights all decided through local elections.
In addition to voter registration and address changes, we also offer concert goers the opportunity to fill out a voter pledge. This is a postcard that will be sent back to them in November reminding them to hit the polls. To make it even more enticing, the postcards are actually designed by famous poster artists and one lucky person who pledges in 2014 is also going to win a Cloud 9 Adventure (Jam Cruise, My Morning Jacket’s One Big Holiday, etc). That’s right – write yourself a postcard and you can be on a cruise this winter.
Finally, we have partnered with iCitizen in the field this year. “What is this iCitizen you speak of?” Well let me tell you. iCitizen is an amazing app for your smartphone. When you download it, you input your zip code and it populates with all of your elected official, both national and state, along with their voting records. But wait! That’s not all! It also has opinion polls and the results are sent to your elected officials. You can also see how folks in your state and across the country feel about that specific issue. Finally, it contains a newsfeed function that you can populate with whatever issues you feel strongly about – anything from civil liberties to environment, campaign finance to international affairs. It is an awesome app. (I happen to be a skeptic who does not like to download things onto my iPhone 4 because my phone is old, slow and out of space. However, I actually really like this particular app.)
We look forward to seeing everyone at Silopanna on August 16. Make sure you swing by our table to update your registration and pledge to vote. Apart from making sure you are ready to vote, you may be headed on a cruise this winter!