'Survival Day' event offers free incentives to get more black and brown voters out to the voting polls

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Election Day is in full swing and so is the push to get more black and brown voters to the polls. This afternoon, the Pilsen organization Healthy Hood Chicago along with Traphouse Chicago and SEIU offered free incentives for South side voters.

The organizations set up shop at The Life Center COGIC, offering free flu shots, groceries, hot foods, HIV tests and masks. The only thing community member had to do is show their "I Voted stickers." In return, residents got a custom "I Voted Sticker" designed by Chicago local artist Oscar Julio.

Seobia Rivers, co-founder of Healthy Hood Chicago, said in order to raise the black and brown voting number, community engagement is key.

"Sure we can say go, go, go vote but we want to be here where the people are to get them to the polls and to get them some things, some incentives. Free things to celebrate," said Rivers.

The group was also out in Pilsen, offering not only free goods but also providing pamphlet guides on how and where to vote.

"It's really important to have an event like this on the south side because it like brings people together. I feel like we're often overlooked with events like this with so much positivity and really get people active on civic processes," said Kyle Lilly, a South side voter.

"I think its an awesome opportunity and a great resource for people from the community to come out and get their flu shot and make sure to get their masks if they need to," said voter Mercedes Diaz.

Healthy Hood Chicago co-founders Seobia Rivers and Tanya Lozano said that providing these essentials during election day is vital for black and brown communities to be proactive, adding that the black and brown vote could change the future of American.

"We want to see a different world, we want to see a world that's for black and brown people so its going to be very important to get in our vote to help create that and help make that change. And just to understand too that voting is not all but it's a start and a start in the right direction," said Rivers.

Healthy Hood Chicago has been hosting "Survival Days" throughout the pandemic to help their communities attain essentials.
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