Out to vote event aims to engage LGBT* people in the local government elections

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Carmen Torres, Belfast

34% percent of users of The Rainbow Project -the largest LGBT association in Northern Ireland- wouldn’t vote in the local government elections. These are results of a survey conducted by the association. Here NI, Cara NI, Transgender NI and The Rainbow project have joined forces in the initiative Out to Vote to try to challenge this.

The first stage of Out to Vote took place 6th April at The 343 in East Belfast and it was designed to attract young people with a series of concerts. The music was provided by members of Girls Rock School NI (GRS) who had the chance to showcase their skills. The assistants could then talk about politics over a cup of tea or coffee. GRS is led by Shannon O’Neill and it aims to teach music to women, young girls and trans and non ninary folk.

Danielle Roberts (right) from Here NI, Shannon O’Neill from Girls Rock School NI (center) and participants of the event.

The second stage will consist on helping people be equipped to talk to the canvassers when they come around their door, says Danielle Roberts. This is the third year Out To Vote is taking place.

According to Roberts, the main reason why LGBT* youth aren’t engaged in politics is the lack of advancement on LGBT* issues which results in people being worn out. However, she insists, local government has tools that can be used to advance LGBT* rights in Northern Ireland.

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