Company is Organizing Staff, Athletes and Operations Personnel across the Washington Wizards, Washington Mystics, Capital City Go-Go, Wizards District Gaming and Washington Capitals to Launch an Effort Committing Thousands to Register and Turnout to Vote
Monumental Sports & Entertainment (MSE) today announced plans to help increase the enfranchisement and participation of eligible voters in elections. As part of this work, MSE has formed a partnership with When We All Vote, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization on a mission to increase participation in every election. Following the leadership of Monumental Basketball players, MSE is organizing its staff, athletes, coaches, and operations personnel from across all five of MSE’s teams to participate in a series of activities to consistently stress the importance of voting. Joining with the Washington Capitals, Mystics, Wizards, Capital City Go-Go and Wizards District Gaming, employees and leadership across MSE will have the opportunity to share information on how to register, celebrate milestones on the path to greater enfranchisement, and push turnout around election days.
“Our players and our staff at Monumental Sports have encouraged us as an organization to use our platform to push for social change and this initiative to increase civic engagement and voter participation will be a key focus of our efforts,” said Monumental Sports Chairman & CEO Ted Leonsis. “We are proud to partner with When We All Vote and serve as ambassadors to reinforce the importance of voting and to actively engage members of our community to register and turnout at the polls on November 3.”
The official tip-off of MSE’s work will be on Sunday, July 26, 2020 – which is 100 days out from Election Day on November 3, 2020. Over the course of those one hundred days, MSE will engage in a robust campaign around voting and will be aided by the following commitments:
Voter Registration Portal
- Using registration infrastructure provided by When We All Vote, MSE will encourage its audience to visit www.whenweallvote.org/monumentalsports where they can find information about the rules within their local jurisdiction to register to vote.
- The Washington Wizards, Mystics, and Capitals have invested in a series of team learnings around social justice causes and they have identified voting as a key initiative in their work. So, in addition to the MSE-branded registration portal, the Wizards, Mystics and Capitals have respectively branded registration portals which they will promote. And given the diversity in hometown markets from which these players hail, individual athletes will also have the opportunity to press the importance of voting in those jurisdictions and among their communities of influence. The teams are also working on issuing “voter registration challenges” with other organizations, further information to be released over the coming months. Those links are www.whenweallvote.org/Wizards, www.whenweallvote.org/Mystics and www.whenweallvote.org/Capitals.
Capital One Arena as a Potential Polling Location
- Given the footprint of the arena and the requisite social distancing protocols in place because of COVID-19, MSE is in discussions with the DC Board of Elections and the Executive Office of DC Mayor Muriel Bowser regarding the possibility of using the arena as a polling location for the November 2020 election. A separate announcement will be made as further details become available, if the parties determine that the arena is an appropriate polling location, and if all applicable logistics are worked through.
Election Day Holiday for Employees
- MSE strongly encourages its employees to turnout for Election Day and so it has designated that all federal, general election days will be a company-wide, paid day off. In addition, MSE recognizes that elections within local jurisdictions vary. So, any employee residing within a jurisdiction which holds a general election falling outside of the federal election calendar will have an additional paid day off to cast their ballot.
Poll Worker Training and Staffing for MSE Employees
- Stemming from overwhelming interest by staff, MSE has begun outreach to local board of elections to gather information on the process to become a certified Election Poll Worker. Given MSE’s workforce is equally distributed across DC, Maryland and Virginia, the company is working to make it as easy as possible for its interested staff to be equipped with the best information and engage in the process, if they so choose.
- As part of MSE’s benefits package, all MSE employees are eligible for sixteen hours of paid volunteer time. For staff interested in becoming poll workers during early vote windows (which would fall outside of the paid, day off for Election Day), employees would still be able to receive MSE compensation by designating those volunteer hours to time spent working at a precinct location.
Marketing and Communications Push
- Through sharing graphics and posts on social media, booking interviews with athletes to talk about the importance of voting, using in-game opportunities as the sports leagues return to play, and a myriad of additional marketing and communications tactics, MSE is committed to turning all its assets towards this effort to make an impact on registration and turnout.
- MSE staff and athletes have also begun a series of learnings around the issue of voter suppression and disenfranchisement tactics. As part of the overall voting effort, MSE will be posting information and educational materials on these tactics to empower voters to understand their rights and execute them effectively in casting their ballot.
- Over the next one hundred days, MSEs work will celebrate key milestones in voting to consistently give attention to the effort. MSE’s partner in this work, When We All Vote, has identified some key days of organization, in which MSE will also participate. In addition, our athletes and staff will be following and promoting voting in local jurisdictions where they have community ties and influence, such as remaining state primaries across the country and other municipal special elections.
|Sunday, July 26||Official Kick-Off: 100 Days from Election Day|
|Thursday, August 6||55th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act|
|Tuesday, August 18||100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment, Women’s Suffrage|
|Friday, August 28||57th Anniversary of the March on Washington|
|Tuesday, September 15||Hispanic Heritage Month Kick-Off|
|Tuesday, September 27||National Voter Registration Day|
|Sunday October 4 – Sunday, October 11||Vote-by-Mail Week of Action|
|Tuesday, October 6||Request Your Ballot Day of Action|
|Sunday, October 18 – Sunday, October 25||Early Vote Week of Action|
|Saturday, October 24||National Early Vote Day|
|Tuesday, November 3||Election Day|
To learn more about these efforts, please check www.monumentalsports.com.
About Monumental Sports & Entertainment
Monumental Sports & Entertainment is America’s leading sports and entertainment family. Our people, players, teams, and events bring excitement and joy to millions. We invest and innovate to consistently raise the game so we can deliver extraordinary experiences that will inspire and unite our community, our fans, and our people. To learn more, please visit www.monumentalsports.com.
About When We Vote
When We All Vote is a national, nonpartisan, nonprofit launched by Co-Chair Michelle Obama in 2018 on a mission to change the culture around voting by bringing together citizens, institutions, brands, and organizations to increase participation in every election. They are also on a mission to close the race and age voting gap and empower all eligible voters to cast their ballot by harnessing grassroots energy, establishing strategic partnerships, and implementing digital organizing strategies. Learn more here.