On August 6, 1965 the Voting Rights Act was signed into law in order to protect underrepresented groups from being denied their right to vote. For too long, too many Americans, particularly people of color, faced barriers that were designed to keep them from participating in the democratic process. Courageous leaders in the American civil rights movement worked tirelessly to help pass the Voting Rights Act, which was designed to eliminate those barriers.
At Airbnb, we believe that every vote is important. Airbnb hosts and guests are engaged in the communities they call home and we believe that everyone should be able to participate in the crucial conversations that will shape the future of our country.
Our belief in the power of the vote is what drives us to honor the Voting Rights Act and we want to encourage as many people as possible to speak out and vote in upcoming elections.
That’s why we’re proud to announce that we are partnering with three leading civic participation organizations — The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, Voto Latino and Democracy Works — and supporting their work to encourage everyone to participate in our democracy.
To support their efforts and mark the anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, on August 6, 2016, we’ll be using our platform to encourage more people to register and vote. On Saturday, everyone in the United States who visits Airbnb.com will see the following message on our homepage:
The more than half a million people who visit the Airbnb website everyday will also have the chance to easily visit these partner organizations where they can learn more about important issues and easily register to vote.
The work these and countless other organizations are doing to encourage everyone to use their voice comes at a critically important time. The right to vote is the foundation of our democracy. And as Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky said today in remarks to the National Urban League’s annual conference in Baltimore:
The best way to protect our right to vote is to exercise our right to vote
Co-Founder and CEO of Airbnb
You can learn more about the The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, Voto Latino and Democracy Works below. We want every eligible voter to go to the polls and we’ll continue to provide additional updates on our work to encourage everyone to vote in the weeks and months ahead. We hope you’ll join our efforts. If you’re not registered to vote, register today. And if you are registered, take a moment to encourage your friends, neighbors and co-workers to participate in our democracy.
National Coalition on Black Civic Participation
The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation (NCBCP) is focused on its Unity 2016 Black Voter Empowerment Campaign (Unity ’16), a nonpartisan voter engagement campaign that includes registering, educating, mobilizing and protecting Black voters across the country.
Voto Latino is a pioneering civic media organization whose 2016 work focuses on registering to vote the 27 million Latinos eligible to vote this year. Through innovative digital campaigns, pop culture, and grassroots voices, Voto Latino provides culturally relevant programs that engage, educate and empower Latinos to be agents of change. Voto Latino aims to build a stronger and more inclusive democracy.
Democracy Works is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to the idea that voting should fit the way we live. The organization is a leader in the civic technology space, partnering with 200 institutions of higher education and dozens of corporations to provide important election information and reminders. Earlier this year, Airbnb joined with Democracy Works as a founding partner of their TurboVote Challenge— an initiative with the goal of achieving 80 percent voter turnout in the U.S. by the year 2020.
Photo credit: Yoichi Okamoto