VOICES FOR VOTING RIGHTS
A Red Carpet Event and Film Screening.
For Immediate Release October 8, 2012
Communities of Color Come Together as Voices for Voting Rights
on October 11 to Oppose Voter ID
(Minneapolis, Minnesota) – A group of organizations representing communities of color and the American Indian community have come together in a campaign to oppose the proposed voter ID amendment. Calling their effort Voices for Voting Rights, the group will host a Red Carpet Celebration on October 11, 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Parkway Theater where they will share a series of videos that have recently been released. The five videos feature stories from the following communities: Latino, Somali, Hmong, African American, and American Indian.
All videos are available for viewing at www.voicesforvotingrights.org. The American Indian community video will be released on October 10.
The members of Voices for Voting Rights include: African American Leadership Forum, Be the Vote Coalition 2012, CAPI, Centro Campesino, Color the Vote, Community Action of Minneapolis, Lao Family Community, Main Street Project, Native Vote Alliance of Minnesota, Organizing Apprenticeship Project, Sagrado Corazón de Jesús, and Somali Action Alliance. This initiative of multiracial, multicultural organizations is focused on building community power, voice, and access at the polling booth and beyond.
“Voting NO on this amendment is about ensuring that our political process in Minnesota is inclusive and accountable. That is why we are bringing together our voices, our values, and communities for an event that reflects our shared call to action this November,” said Hana Worku, Campaign Coordinator for the Voices for Voting Rights campaign at OAP.
The video series, made in collaboration with Line Break Media, tell the stories of multiple communities in Minnesota and their relationship to voting rights and democratic participation. A compilation video that features multiracial and multicultural perspectives will be released in the week following the event.
“We believe it is important to make these stories come to life and hold up the historical struggles and victories that different communities have faced in attaining access to democratic and political power,” said Vina Kay, Director of Research and Policy at OAP.
The Red Carpet Celebration will honor all of the participants in the videos, who will be welcomed at the red carpet entrance to the locally-owned South Minneapolis theater. The event will feature live performances, perspectives of multiple communities, and a chance to see the videos on the big screen. The gathering also offers an opportunity for communities of color and the American Indian community to mobilize their shared voices in opposition to the proposed amendment. These communities, organizers noted, make up 17 percent of the state population, and represent a growing percentage of voting Minnesotans.
For more information: www.voicesforvotingrights.org
In February of this year, the photo above was used to support the pro-Voter ID agenda of Minnesota Majority, a conservative organization which fights for “traditional values.” This ad plays on racist ideologies and upholds the stigmatization of individuals who have criminal records. One core message behind the image seems to be, quite simply, “Vote yes, because we don’t want felons voting anymore than we do ghosts or dead people .”
Do you agree with that statement? The Sentencing Project estimates that 5.85 million Americans are politically disenfranchised in the United States due to felony convictions. Read more