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Alliance of North Carolina Black Elected Officials: Educate, Organize, and Mobilize

Written by Peter Grear, Esq. on 20 February 2014.

JOHN TRAVIS HOLTSince August 2013 I've continued to ask myself "what would an effective campaign to defeat voter suppression look like?” Well, on Friday, February 14, 2014, Valentine's Day, I got my answer from Richard Hooker, President of the North Carolina Alliance of Black Elected Officials, (the Alliance).  It is not surprising that it is taking time to fully organize an effective response to the NC Voter Suppression Act of 2013, a/k/a, the Voter Information Verification Act of 2013. The Alliance http://ncbeoalliance.org/ is the organization of members of the NC Legislative Black Caucus Foundation, the NC Conference of Black Mayors, NC Black Elected Municipal Officials, NC Caucus of Black School Board Members and NC Black County Officials.

In its own words, the Alliance says what needs to be said, "We believe representative government works best when there is an informed, engaged and active voting population. Policy makers must be equipped with knowledge of the needs of the communities they purport to serve, and an awareness of the consequences of those policies on the affected citizens. We commit ourselves to be strongly engaged in the political process, identify, research and advocate for issues of concern to African Americans. We commit to mobilize the electorate through registration and education, to eliminate barriers to voting participation, to monitor the records and actions of those elected or seeking election, and to hold them accountable. We commit to invest the appropriate financial resources to ensure equitable representation at all levels of government".

Richard Hooker, is a 19-year member of the Cleveland County Board of Education and a founding member of the Alliance.   He restated and confirmed the Alliance's standing commitment to campaigning to defeat voter suppression.  He stated the fact that they are anxious, ready, willing and able to help educate, organize and mobilize their constituents as a part of the campaign.  We urge all of their constituents to “Like” us and post comments at Facebook.com/votersuppression as a part of the campaign to defeat voter suppression.

The 2014 NC Black Summit, sponsored by the Alliance, will bring together healthcare organizations, ACA representatives and insurance companies to inform Alliance constituents about healthcare reform. The theme for 2014 Summit is “Healthcare and our Community: The Impact of the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid Reform.” Summit participants will learn how best to use the ACA to benefit citizens of North Carolinian. In its ninth year, the 2014 NC Black Summit will be held April 24-26, 2014 at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel in Durham, NC.  Additionally, I’m advised that the Alliance intend to address voter suppression at its annual summit, thereafter in regional meetings and on a regular basis at activities involving their coalition organizations.   

Ordinarily a writer shouldn't become a part of the topic that he’s writing about, except if he has unique knowledge or information that expands and advances the discussion without being overly intrusive.  This is the case with Greater Diversity News (GDN) and me.  We're actively involved in the campaign to defeat voter suppression and are helping to develop and evolve the strategies to do so.  Over the past few months I've been discussing voter suppression issues with Richard and other Alliance members.  I believe their strategy and process is sound and, at the end of the day, will succeed in mobilizing a successful campaign that will eventually defeat the evil Voter Suppression Act.  

Considering what other individuals and organizations are doing and the ongoing involvement by the Alliance, that leads the virtual entirety of the Black voting community, I now know what an effective campaign to defeat voter suppression looks like.  

In the coming weeks we will continue to monitor the Alliance and report on their voter suppression activities.  To properly explain the interaction of the Alliance and the constituents that elected them with the campaign to defeat voter suppression requires an ongoing dialogue.  I believe that the best forum to develop the understanding of this process is our Facebook page, Facebook.com/votersuppression.  I believe that as a part of their leadership the Alliance's members and member organizations will post periodic comments and share some of our articles and other posts on their own Facebook timelines.  By doing this we will all eventually end up in the same place, at the same, which has to happen if we’re to succeed in defeating voter suppression. 

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Peter Grear, Esq. writes for Greater Diversity News with a primary focus on voter suppression.  To join the campaign to defeat voter suppression please “Like” and follow us at www.facebook.com/votersuppression, “Share” our articles, and your ideas and comments on Facebook or at our website www.GreaterDiversity.com.  Also, to promote the campaign to defeat voter suppression, please ask all of your Facebook “Friends” to follow the above-referenced recommendations. Additionally, please follow us on Twitter at @yourrighttovote.