20 Jan Voting Rights Aren’t Just A Black Issue
By Marsha D. Mitchell | Communications Director
“At consequential moments in history, they present a choice: Do you want to be the side of Dr. King or George Wallace? Do you want to be on the side of John Lewis or Bull Connor? Do you want to be on the side of Abraham Lincoln or Jefferson Davis?,” Biden asked U.S. Senators in a recent speech.
Last year, at least 19 states made it more difficult for residents to vote, according to tracking at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University. This past weekend, thousands of people took to the streets to declare “no celebration without legislation” to honor Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. And on Monday, Yolanda Renee King, the only grandchild of Martin Luther King Jr., had a clear message. “For all the elected leaders out there who are tweeting, posting, and celebrating my grandfather Dr. King today, my message to you is simple: “Do not celebrate, legislate. ”
Since the Supreme Court’s 2013 decision in Shelby County vs. Holder, the 1965 Voting Rights Act has been stripped of its power to stop states from making it more difficult for people to vote. Senator Chuck Schumer promised a vote this week, and GOP leaders were expected to filibuster voting rights legislation for the fifth time. “Voting rights are about [the] power to write policy that impacts our daily lives and to control the purse strings of the U.S. budget and over $21 trillion in gross domestic product,” said Rev. William Barber II in a recent piece penned for Time Magazine. He stressed that voting rights aren’t just a Black issue in the article.
As the fastest-growing segment of the electorate over the last 20 years, Brown voters in California are poised to play a significant role in what will undoubtedly be contentious 2022 midterm elections. There are nearly 9 million eligible Latino voters in California, the largest Latino voting bloc in the nation. Voter education and turnout will be critical issues for this growing demographic.
Voter education among Black voters is also central to getting them to the polls. “While Black voters report being energized and excited to vote in the 2022 midterms—with 81 percent saying they will definitely vote — there are warning signs on the horizon for Senate Democrats and the Biden administration. More than a third of Black voters say they’re not familiar with the offices up for election in 2022, and among younger Black voters, 41 percent say they’re unfamiliar with those offices.”—Black Pac
So what can communities of color do during the upcoming midterm elections?
—Educate yourself regarding the issues and offices up for election. Ballotpedia’s sample ballot gives you articles on each candidate and ballot measure so that you have the information you need to cast an informed vote at the polls.
—Register to Vote in your county. In order to register to vote within LA County please visit https://lavote.gov, and please check your voter status by visiting the county’s website to make sure you are still registered.
—Mobilize your Friends and Family to Vote in 2022. Text 5 (or more!) of your contacts and ask them to go to pledge.blackpac.com and join voters in every state in pledging to exercise our right to vote this year.