Educate, Organize and Mobilize – Last week I wrote about efforts to protect and expand voting rights in North Carolina. We noted that our first forum will be held at the Westover Recreation Center located at 267 Bonanza Dr. Fayetteville, NC 28303 from 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. The forum is free and open to the public.
The number of Black publications that are supporting our efforts has grown to 6 with the addition of the Carolina Peacemaker. Already participating were The Fayetteville Press, County News, The Carolina Times, The Winston-Salem Chronicle and Greater Diversity News. Starting this week, please look to these publications for ongoing coverage as this project continues to evolve and please share your ideas on what we can do to improve the project and our coverage.
I am pleased to report that we have confirmed Democracy NC as a Fayetteville presenter and as a permanent presenter for other forums. The NC NAACP has also been confirmed as presenter and if all goes well will become a permanent presenter. We have also invited Advance NC to become a presenter for Fayetteville and beyond. We think the participation of Advance NC is essential and will notify you of any decision that they make.
Outreach efforts to develop broad based community support are well underway and appear to be finding a very responsive audience. Readers should remember that our first forum is being co-sponsored by the NC Caucus of Black School Board Members (NCCBSBM) and the coalition of Black publishers listed above. Going forward, we will continue to invite other publishers to participate as well as other organizations of Black elected officials.
It is important that our elected officials and their strategic allies and constituents be present and give input at our forums. It is essential that they be a part of the strategy discussions that will be the basis of decisions that are made on community mobilization for the 2016 General Elections.
Supporters that are on Facebook should send me a friend request and share our forum invite with their friends and interested organizations.
As I regularly do, this week I am calling readers attention to a voter suppression decision on a law in Wisconsin that is a setback to our efforts to expand ballot access. As always, I do this because certain court decisions from other jurisdictions will impact decisions made in North Carolina. I’ll also provide a brief update of the status of a voter ID case here in North Carolina.
On October 19, 2015 a federal judge has denied an ACLU request to let voters use more forms of photo identification at the polls. The ACLU had asked U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman to declare that technical college IDs, out-of-state driver licenses and veterans photo IDs are acceptable forms of photo identifications at the polls. (See link No. 1 below).
On Friday October 23, 2015, here in North Carolina, U.S. Middle District Court Judge Thomas Shroeder denied a defense motion to dismiss the voter ID provision of the voting rights lawsuit filed by the NAACP, the League of Women Voters and others. (See link No. 2 below).
It is essential to understand that all of the lawsuits filed to protect and expand our voting rights are important. That being said, regardless of the various court rulings, the onslaught of the many attacks on voting rights are making it more and more difficult for Blacks and other citizens to vote and much more confusing for those still able to vote. This is why it is essential that we start now in our efforts to educate, organize and mobilize our communities around voting issues.
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