You could call them Florida’s silent swing vote. But not for long, organizers hope.

Looking to make the Arab-American vote more visible in the 2008 election, local and national leaders have targeted Florida for efforts to increase political involvement and voter turnout.

Because of that, Jacksonville’s established Arab-American community will be a big focus for Yalla Vote, an initiative from the Washington-based Arab American Institute. The initiative is nonpartisan but does include a broad set of statements, including a call for civil liberties protections and an end to the war in Iraq.

Issues such as the sagging economy, health care and education also are important, but that’s not unique to Arab-Americans, said Edna Saffy of Jacksonville, one of the community leaders whose advice institute organizers sought last week. (MORE)


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