October 2017


September 2017

September was Voting Rights Month! 

Click on the dates below to view more information about the event.

This September: Embrace All People, Count All Votes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

National Voter Registration Day

Register. Vote. Be Heard. 

www.NationalVoterRegistrationDay.org

#NationalVoterRegistrationDay #VotingRightsMonth #VoteNov7 #VRM17

Voting is one way we express ourselves as a community, as voters and Americans, but to exercise this basic right, we must be registered to vote! That’s why the Voting Rights Alliance is a proud partner and supporter of National Voter Registration Day. National Voter Registration Day kickstarts and highlights the need for people to register before their state voter registration deadlines. And you can be part of this amazing process! Register to Vote Online: It’s simple, it’s free, and it’s secure. Once you make sure you’re registered, forward this email to a friend, ask them to join you and use #NationalVoterRegistrationDay throughout social media.

Thanks for taking a few moments to strengthen your community – and our country – with your voice


July 2017

#RespectMyVote Rally Protested First White House Meeting of Trump’s Voting Commission

Presidential Commission on Election Integrity” Viewed by Civil Rights Community and National Allies as an Attack on Voting Rights

 

Wednesday, July 19, was the swearing-in ceremony and first meeting of President Trump’s Presidential Commission on Election Integrity.” That morning, a broad coalition of cultural, advocacy, and civil rights leaders met in front of the White House to demand that President Trump respect Americans’ right to vote and protest his attack on voting rights and personal privacy.

President Trump has stated that he established this sham commission in an attempt to validate his baseless claim that 3-5 million Americans voted illegally during the 2016 elections. It’s clear that the real purpose of the commission is to justify the creation of more barriers to the vote.

WHAT: #RespectMyVote! White House Rally

WHEN: Wednesday, July 19, 2017-  10:00am ET (gather); 10:30am ET (start)

WHERE: Lafayette Square Park - Pennsylvania Avenue and Jackson Place NW

WHO: Hip Hop Caucus, Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights, National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, American Civil Liberties Union, People For the American Way, Public Citizen, Common Cause, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, People Demanding Action, Rock the Vote, UniteBlue, and more.

SPEAKERS INCLUDED:

  • United States Senator Cory Booker (NJ)
  • United States Senator Bernie Sanders (VT)
  • United States Representative John Lewis (Georgia’s Fifth District)
  • Goldlink (rising hip-hop artist from the DMV)
  • Thomas Saenz, President and General Counsel, Mexican American Legal Defense & Educational Fund
  • Anthony Torres, All of Us

Following the rally, there was a #RespectMyVote Twitter Storm. Search #RespectMyVote to see all the tweets from the Twitter Storm. View below for an article about the livestream:

Activists Brave DC Scorcher to Protest "Voting Integrity" Panel


May 2017

We were LIVE: May 23, 2017, 5:00 PM-7:00 P.M. Eastern

via Facebook Live Stream

The Voting Rights Alliance, the Transformative Justice Coalition,& The Georgia Coalition for the Peoples' Agenda Presented: A Facebook Live Event Panel Discussion on Georgia. This live stream was titled "A Look at Voter Suppression in the US: VOTING RIGHTS: GROUND ZERO GEORGIA". 

#VRAmattersLive             #GAVotesMatter

 

On Tuesday,  May 23, 2017, from 5:00 PM- 7:00 PM, the Voting Rights Alliance (VRA), the Transformative Justice Coalition (TJC), and the Georgia Coalition for the Peoples' Agenda (GCPA) presented a very special Facebook Live panel discussion on the state of voting rights in Georgia, which was hosted by the GCPA's weekly voter empowerment forum. Georgia is the birth state of Dr. Amelia Platts Boynton Robinson, mother of the Voting Rights Movement; and, home of Dr. Joseph R. Lowery, Dean of the Civil Rights Movement and Convener of VRA partner, GCPA.

Planning for this event began in early March, before the nation's attention was riveted by Georgia's Special Election for the Sixth Congressional District. The VRA decided to spotlight Georgia's notorious recent history of voter suppression that have been flying silently under the radar of the national media and general public for years- a trend that makes the VRA regard Georgia as "Ground Zero".  

This panel discussed the current state of Georgia's failure to comply with the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, and the current litigation that is ensuing as a result of the state's refusal to reopen registration for the June 20th Run-Off Elections. The panel also covered local poll locations; early voting suppression; absentee ballots nationwide and specifically how it affects Georgia's elections; the current voter ID laws in Georgia; and, gerrymandering.

The Facebook Live event was broadcast live and is available on TJC's Facebook page at Facebook.com/TJC.DC.   

Panelists and moderator included: 

  • Helen Butler, GCPA Executive Director;
     
  • Barbara Arnwine, TJC President and Founder and Convener of the VRA; and, 
     
  • Moderator Sharon J. Hill, Community Advocate, Human Relations Strategistand top Political Organizer in the State of Georgia.

In addition to the livestream, there was also a live audience of about 60 people. You can still watch the livestream, and tweet us questions at @VRAmatters, using the hashtags #VRAMattersLive and #GAVotesMatter. TJC apologies to those who tried to access the livestream and were unable to because of technical difficulties. No matter when you have the opportunity to watch this incredible event panel discussion, we hope you'll invite your friends to watch it with you. Please don't hesitate to comment your questions and experiences directly on the livestream, as TJC is still monitoring the post. 

The VRA extends its gratitude to Sharon J. Hill, Triana Arnold, GCPA, the Wheat Street Baptist Church, Whitney Baker, Caitlyn Cobb, and all the volunteers and participants who made this event a great success.


April 18, 2017: Georgia Special Elections

The Voting Rights Alliance would like to remind everyone of Georgia's 6th Congressional District that there will be a Special Election on Tuesday, April 18, 2017 for the U.S. House of Representatives. Click below to hear audio of a PSA from the reigning Miss Georgia and Founder of the Student Jolly Awareness Program, Triana James, as she reminds Georgia's 6th Congressional District to vote on April 18th and in every election.


Women's History Month 2017

The Voting Rights Alliance & The National Organization of Women Present:

A Facebook Live Event Panel Discussion on Voter Fraud:

"Voting Rights: A Look at Voter Suppression in the US"

Voting rights across the country are under attack. From voter ID laws to racial gerrymandering, there has been an increase in the systematic disenfranchisement of millions of people in the United States. President Donald Trump has repeatedly leveled an unsubstantial and controversial charge of voter fraud by millions during the 2016 Presidential Elections.  Indeed, he has promised to issue an Executive Order establishing an investigatory commission on voter fraud to be led by Vice President Mike Pence. However, these charges of voter fraud distract from the real plague of the 2016 Presidential elections: voter suppression.

In 2016, our nation's most vulnerable voters encountered innumerable obstacles attempting to vote during the primaries, early voting, and the general election.  Throughout the nation, states decreased polling sites resulting in horrendous long lines.  A number of states failed to process voter registrations in time for the elections. Electronic poll books and optical scan failures resulted in thousands upon thousands of voters being unable to vote due to long lines. Several lawsuits were able to defeat voter suppression laws in North Carolina and Texas due to racial discrimination. Still in many states, the impact of new Voter ID laws were harmful to Latino, African American and low income voters. Despite these realities, states are pursuing more and more draconian voter suppression measures as emergency legislation under the guise of voter suppression. 

March 15, 2017 at 5:30 P.M. edt., the  National Organization of Women (NOW), in partnership with the Voting Rights Alliance, hosted a very special Facebook Live event on the state of voting rights and what you can do to fight back.

Panelists included: 

  • NOW President, Terry O'Neill;
     
  • Transformative Justice Coalition President and Voting Rights Alliance Convener, Barbara Arnwine;
     
  • The Reverend Lennox Yearwood of Hip Hop Caucus; and,
     
  • District of Columbia NOW President, Monica Weeks.

The Facebook Live event was broadcasted live from NOW's Facebook page at Facebook.com/NationalNow.

Click Here for more information about the event and to share the event's page with your Facebook friends!

Click Here to be taken to NOW's Facebook Page


Black History Month 2017 #VRABlackHistory Series

In honor of Black History Month, the Voting Rights Alliance created a historic archive of the legacies and stories of the heroes, sheroes, and events in the fight for Black suffrage. Each day of Black History Month 2017, the Voting Rights Alliance shared a new calendar article, honoring a person, organization, or event, from over 5 centuries that forever changed the movement for the right to vote for African Americans and all Americans.

We shared each article on social media underneath the hashtag #VRABlackHistory.
Follow us on Twitter (@VRAmatters) to see the series' tweets. We also emailed these articles out every morning of February 2017.

Below is an interactive calendar of the entire #VRABlackHistoryMonth series:

How to use our interactive calendar:

1. Please click on the left arrow to navigate to the month of February 2017.

For Desktop Users: Hover over each day to see a short description of the article we honored on that day. Click on any day to be taken to the article for that specific day. 

For Mobile Users: Tap once on a gray-shaded day to see the article description. Click on the title to be taken of the description to be taken to that specific day's article.

Please note: There are many other people who we would have loved to include in this calendar; however, we had to omit people, organizations, and events because of the amount of days in February. Some of the people, organizations, and events omitted include: Julius Caesar Chappelle, Colin Powel, The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, 46th Annual Legislative Conference (Sept. 14, 2016), Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, Barack Obama, Diane Nash, Ella Baker, Freedom Rides of 1960, and others.

Below are the people, events, or organizations that we have recognized in honor of the 2017 Black History Month:

  • Feb. 1st: An Early Fight for Black Suffrage (1723-1735)

  • Feb 2nd: Prince Hall (1735-1807)

  • Feb. 3rd: Paul Cuffe Sr. (1759-1817)

  • Feb 4th: Sojourner Truth (1797-1883)

  • Feb 5th: Lucretia Mott (1793-1880)

  • Feb. 6th: Robert Purvis (1810-1898)

  • Feb. 7th: Frederick Douglass (1818-1895)

  • Feb 8th: Black Soldiers in the Civil War (1861-1865)

  • Feb. 9th: Mary Ann Shadd Cary (1823-1893)

  • Feb. 10th: Anna Julia Cooper (1858-19964)

  • Feb. 11th: The Reconstruction Congress of 1867

  • Feb. 12th: The Fifteenth Amendment (1870)

  • Feb 13th: The Federal Elections Bill (1890)

  • Feb. 14th: George H. White (1852-1918)

  • Feb. 15th: Ida B. Wells-Barnett (1862-1931)

  • Feb. 16th: Mary Eliza Church Terrell (1863-1954)

  • Feb. 17th: Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968) 

  • Feb. 18th: The Children's Crusade (May 2, 1963-May 5, 1963)

  • Feb. 19th: Fannie Lou Hamer (1917-1977)

  • Feb. 20th: Amelia Platts Boynton Robinson (1911-2015)

  • Feb. 21st: Mississippi Summer Freedom (Summer 1964)

  • Feb. 22nd: The Voting Rights Act of 1965

  • Feb. 23rd: Shirley Anita St. Hill Chisholm (1924-2005)

  • Feb. 24th: The Reverend Jesse Jackson, Sr. (1941-present)

  • Feb. 25th: The Rise of Modern Voter Suppression, especially after  Shelby County v. Holder, 570 U.S. __ (2013).

  • Feb. 26th: Congressman Marc Veasey (1971-present)

  • Feb. 27th: Congressman John Lewis (1940-present)

  • Feb. 28th: The Transformative Justice Coalition (2015-present) & What YOU can do to advance voting rights (2017)


OUR DEMOCRACY - OUR VOTING RIGHTS - OUR VISION - OUR RESISTANCE

People’s Democracy Conference

December 13, 2016 (9:45am – 3:15pm)

National Press Club

#Resist2016

The People's Democracy Conference (PDC) was the Voting Rights Alliance hitting the ground running! Following the 2016 elections, the PDC was our continued effort to not only wage a defensive war for our voting rights again, but to also wage a bold, inclusive, and an offensive campaign. At the time of the PDC, already 5 states were working on new voter suppression legislation. We couldn't wait until Mid-January! Our 2016 Presidential Election turned out to be a BIG MESS with voter suppression of Blacks, Latinos, Asians, and Native American voters; Hateful and Racist appeals; and, the revelations about the Russian interference. The PDC was designed to be an educational event to re-charge our energies and racial justice movement right before the holiday season! In attendance was a diverse audience of students, activists, lawyers, professionals, and non-professionals all committed to ensuring our Democracy is preserved in this time of threat.  The conference featured three panels (voter suppression in the states, Cross Check, and voting machines and strategies moving forward) and a Luncheon Roundtable of leaders of the Voting Rights Alliance. After the conference, there was a short march to the Trump Transition Headquarters. 

Speakers included prominent state and national figures, including:

  • Rev. Lennox Yearwood of the Hip Hop Caucus;
  • Terry O'Neill of the National Organization of Women;
  • Greg Palast, investigative journalist and Cross Check exposer;
  • Rev. Rodney Sadler of North Carolina's Moral Monday Movement;
  • Ria Thompson Washington of the National Lawyers' Guild;
  • Dr. Ron Daniels of the Institute of the Black World;
  • Ben Ptashnik of the National Election Defense Coalition;
  • Barbara Arnwine, President of the Transformative Justice Coalition; and,
  • many others.

*Video will be available soon.*

The African American Women and the Law Conference Presents:
 
The 2nd Annual Fannie Lou Hamer Day of Political Action's Twitter Storm, in honor of Fannie Lou Hamer's 100th Birthday
 
#FannieLouHamerAction #SickAndTiredVote #VoteNov7 #FLHAction
 
 
The 2016 African American Women and the Law Conference decided that October 6th would be named "Fannie Lou Hamer Day", in honor of Fannie Lou Hamer's birthday. Fannie Lou Hamer Day is a national day of action, accompanied by a Twitter storm. This will be the 2nd Annual Fannie Lou Hamer Day of Political Action. You can follow along by following the Twitter handle @AAWLC2018 or the Facebook handle @AAWLC, or with the hashtags #FLHaction, #FannieLouHamerAction, #SickAndTiredVote, and #VoteNov7. 
 
This year, Fannie Lou Hamer Day will officially end Voting Rights Month, as we honor her 100th Birthday.