Moving toward the General Elections of November 2016, I will continue to search the landscape for information on activities, organizations and individuals that are, or should be, playing significant roles in our efforts to protect voting rights and ballot access in November 2016 and beyond.
In the past I’ve written about the North Carolina NAACP (NC NAACP), Democracy NC, Advance NC, the North Carolina Legislative Black Caucus (Caucus), North Carolina Association of Black Publishers (NCABP), the Black church, and the Alliance of North Carolina Black Elected Officials (ANCBEO). All of these organizations have unique and important roles to play if we’re to successfully protect our voting rights going forward. I continue to stress the fact that time is of the essence and that we need a massive voter mobilization.
After nearly forty-years of community activism, I know and have worked with many of the players that are charged with carrying out the missions of their organizations. When I write, it is with the objective of sharing with our readers my understanding and interpretations of our current political landscape. I’m in fairly constant contact with our political and grass root leaders around the state and discuss these issues with them on a continuous basis. Suffice it is to say, I see good signs and I see bad signs.
I believe that all of the above-referenced organizations have been quite successful in their many endeavors and will continue to be so. However, suggestions herein are designed to raise the probability of success in our ongoing efforts to protect the voting rights of Black people. As under-funded, under-dogs, Black voters cannot afford to sit back and wait to get involved in a coordinated effort to defend our voting rights. Two of the organizations positioned to provide strategic guidance to our efforts are the Legislative Black Caucus and Advance NC.
There are several details that should be kept in mind as we plan our way forward. As under-funded under-dogs fighting for our voting rights against billionaire funded political operatives, “time” is one of our most important resources and we cannot afford to waste a moment of it.
Advance NC is positioned as the coalition builder for 2016 and the Legislative Black Caucus has to play the crucial oversight role of passing on the integrity and strategies of Advance NC. However, in order for Advance NC to create effective strategies it must invite all interested parties to engage in ongoing strategy sessions to address the nuts and bolts of how to win in November 2016. I suggest regular conference calls that are open to all that want to participate.
The Legislative Black Caucus has shown great interest in success in November 2016 and to make success a more attainable goal, they should evaluate the recommendation of Advance NC to invite all interested parties to get involved. There are strong signs that the Caucus is ready and willing to do whatever is necessary to protect the right to vote for their constituents. It is my considered opinion that the Caucus should remain current on the evolution of strategies coming out of Advance NC and that they, along with all other Black elected officials, should become ambassadors that provide credibility in supporting the strategies. Without the full and aggressive support of our Black elected officials our chances of success are greatly minimized.
I guess it goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway, the Black press should be a primary messaging and outreach vehicle for all of our voting rights and voter suppression efforts.
I’ve not discussed the NC NAACP and Democracy NC in any detail herein, because I’ve discussed the valuable roles that they’ve played throughout the years and as always, I urge all of our readers to continue to give them full support. Additionally, all of the noted organizations and others will be active partners of our coalition.
Special focus must be given to the involvement of the Black church community’s efforts to support our voting rights. I’ve written about the commitment that the Progressive National Baptist Convention has made to protect our rights under the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Following are two links to information that addresses their commitment and Voter Registration and Mobilization tool-kit that they have prepared (See links 1 & 2 below). I urge the entirety of our church community to make the same or similar commitment as the Progressive National Baptist Convention.
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