Mike Livy,24, of Redford registers to vote at the Michigan Secretary of State mobile trailer on Saturday at 'Rock the Vote' rally on Belle Isle. (Ricardo Thomas / The Detroit News)
Detroit — With the deadline to register to vote in the Nov. 5 election looming, the United Auto Workers Region 1A on Saturday hosted a “Rock The Vote” event on Belle Isle.
Dozens of people came out to island for the voter registration drive where the mobile Secretary of State’s office was available.
"We want to raise awareness and increase understanding," said Rory Gamble, director of UAW Region 1A. "That's what today's all about no matter who you vote for as long as you register."
Gamble considered the event a successful voter outreach project, and one that is necessary considering the voting sentiment in the city.
"There's a lot of apathy because of the emergency manager and because in the last 14 elections we have seen very little progress," Gamble said. "People feel disenfranchised because they've voted and nothing's changed."
Gamble was joined by some candidates on the November ballot as well as other labor unions.
AFL-CIO President Giorgio Michalakis said "It's always a great priority for young voters because they have a lot at stake," Michalakis said. "...There are a lot of issues and they need a voice."
City Clerk Janice Winfrey adressed the crowd, who were entertained by performers throughout the day at the Belle Isle Bandshell, including guitarist Jeff Maylin and his old school blues, which he hoped will push a few more residents to register and get them to the polls.
"It's important," Maylin said. "This is a catalyst to vote."