OCO community organizer Katy Nunez-Adler recently was at Merritt College looking to register people to vote when she ran into a man in his 50s who has a huge stake in this election.

Although the man is middle-aged, the man told Katy that this will be the first time in his life that he has registered to vote.

Being an ex-offender, that’s a big deal. Katy ran into a number of people in their 40s and 50s who were in the same situation because they were ex-offenders as well. In fact, on that day, she was able to register about 60 people at Merritt—most of whom were ex-offenders.

She and other OCO organizers are trying to get the word out that just because someone is on probation, it doesn’t mean he or she can’t vote.

“For me, I don’t see how we can change what’s going on in this county unless we change who’s exercising political power,” Katy said. “So it’s an amazing opportunity that we have, especially in a year when we’re seeing so bluntly the return of Jim Crow with voter suppression around the country, including in our own state.”