Barbara Arnwine speaking about protecting the vote on Dec. 18 when she accepted Black Star News Excellence Award at annual dinner at MIST Harlem. Photo Hakim Mutlaq
Your support is desperately needed to help protect the vote in 2016.
Our Democracy is at risk and you can help the Transformative Justice Coalition be the needed leadership force in fighting voter suppression, educating the public about their rights, and assisting the more than 5 million formerly incarcerated persons who have difficulty navigating the process for restoring their right to vote.
In 2011, when I created the “Map of Shame” to educate the American public about the new wave of voter suppression that was sweeping our country, many initially resisted this perspective and challenged my advocacy as they lacked the vision to comprehend this threat.
But my persistent and strategic advocacy in the national media, the hallways of state legislatures and Congress, the benches of Black churches, conferences upon conferences, and any other available forum helped to build a movement that has resulted in the popular understanding of the threat that voter suppression presents to us all.
In 2016, the elections for local, state, congressional and senate offices including that of the President will have tremendous impact on our nation’s future.
While some ruthlessly seek to deny and suppress the right to vote, many eligible voters struggle to appreciate the connection between the vote and their own daily lives given their disappointments with government. This combination of voter suppression and citizen discouragement is profound and deeply troubling yet not insurmountable.
We can make a difference in fighting voter suppression efforts at the policy level and in the streets and homes of America by registering the 50 million unregistered but eligible voters and providing the tools to voters to fight back against the many voter suppression tactics.
Assisting the formerly incarcerated and returning citizens to restore their right to vote is crucial in this effort. I have a national plan for achieving this goal with your support.
We can also encourage and motivate voters by making clear the nexus of the vote to those matters they hold dear. I intend to help African American and all voters understand that the vote lies at the heart of the tragic failure of our criminal justice system to hold police accountable for the slaying of African Americans or police brutality.
This chain of unaccountability links too many cases from Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Sandra Bland, Natasha McKenna, Marlene Pinnock and now Tamir Rice.
Yet, voters can make a difference by electing prosecutors, city and county council members, mayors, judges, state representatives and state senators, governors, members of Congress and President on a platform of strict police accountability.
Our health, employment, educational opportunities, economy, foreign relations and make-up of the judiciary all lies within the Vote! Voters must understand that their vote counts and we have to remove and overcome barriers and obstacles to their right to vote.
We need your help for the Transformative Justice Coalition to do this critical work in 2016 by making a contribution today, before Midnight.