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Welcome to the third in the GOTV series.  I began this  out  of my concern about Democratic turnout in the fall.  Unfortunately, we are notorious for low turnout in non-presidential years. And, of course, the nationwide attempts at voter suppression add greatly to the problem.  We cannot afford this especially as the Senate is at risk.  This diary will focus on what we can do to help register more African American voters and counter voter suppression efforts.  

We are fortunate to have Denise Oliver-Velez as our guest writer who can speak much better than I to this issue.  Below the fold there will be action steps for you to consider taking.

     "This year is the 50th Anniversary of Freedom Summer 1964. Civil rights groups across the nation are gearing up for massive voter registration drives. One of the most successful strategies in 2010 was to harness the energy of local black churches to not only register voters but to get "Souls to the Polls".

     Ben Jealous has written

'Voter registration is the antidote to voter suppression We have the antidote to voter suppression. In fact, we’ve always had it.We have known what it is for at least half a century. Fifty years ago this month, Freedom Summer activists risked life and limb to register voters in Mississippi and spread the gospel of democracy across the southern United States. They confirmed the notion that the best way to overcome massive voter suppression is through a massive wave of voter registration. As we prepare for the midterm election of 2014 – and look toward the presidential election of 2016 – we need to remember their lesson.'
    Read the report  


'This report examines the conditions in the Black Belt today and identifies lessons from Freedom Summer that can help today’s political organizers build a more inclusive Black Belt.

     The first and most important lesson is that massive voter registration can overcome massive voter suppression. Our analysis shows that registering just 30 percent of eligible unregistered black voters or other voters of color could shift the political calculus in a number of Black Belt states, helping blacks elect candidates who share their concerns or alternatively, forcing all candidates to pay attention to the community’s concerns. Registering 60 percent or 90 percent would change the political calculus in an even greater number of states.

     However, if organizers seek to maintain this progress in the long term, they must also embrace two other lessons from Freedom Summer. The second lesson is that coalition building is the key to transformative political power. The third is that successful movement is a marathon, not a sprint.

     Taken together, these three lessons can provide the tactical framework for advancing inclusion and unleashing democracy in the Black Belt.'

    The Moral Mondays movement in NC is putting trained organizers into the field. 'The centerpiece initiative this summer will be a 12 week deep organizing plan that places 50 highly-trained paid Moral Freedom Summer organizers in pairs in local communities across the state to deepen and strengthen the Forward Together Moral Movement. The program will last approximately 12 weeks, from May 15th to August 2nd.'

     As is the movement in GA.  (Note: These are such great movements and although the deadline for applying has passed in North Carolina and Georgia  you can still apply to the N.A.N. program mentioned below the fold and the Freedom Summer Initiative is yet to occur, see that link below as well.)

     I continue to share Rev. Barber's video from 2012 which is a powerful testimony for why we must vote

     It's not just about churches. Identify your local black barbershops, hair salons, senior and youth centers. These are some of the most effective places to spread the word.

     Voter registration isn't glamorous. There are days it can be tedious. But it's fundamental if we want to win.  

And we will."


VOLUNTEER/DONATE or PASS THE LINK ALONG to the National Action Network FREEDOM SUMMER  drive to oppose the vote suppression efforts in 8 states at this link.  (Please note in the press release about this campaign, they state that you need to sign up by May 15th, but I just spoke to them this week and they said it is not too late to sign up.)

NAACP MISSISSIPPI FREEDOM SUMMER EVENT is happening next week.   This is the invite from Hollis Watkins for the June 25h-June 29th event:  

FORWARD this link to anyone who might be interested from the  NAACP which asks people to detail voting changes in their area.


For additional action steps and some great advice from Eclectablog  please see the previous diaries linked below. I have linked to the first diary with a note about the second as, for now, GOTV at high schools is not timely.   I am very excited to announce that the next diary will feature a unique outdoor voter registration strategy used by NoiseofRain and BadScience.  

And I have begun a GOTV group on the Kos called GOTV 2014. I am planning to feature registration/turnout efforts for other groups in the future and appreciate any references to people/groups with expertise in the areas of reaching:  Hispanic voters, the LGBT community, Women, Asian Americans, younger voters, greenies and Native Americans. I welcome everyone and thank you for your attention and your concern and your comments.  I'll be  signing off for today  (Wednesday) but please feel free to comment, repost or Kosmail me.  Best/sh

Originally posted to ShoshannaD on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 09:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Support the Dream Defenders, Motor City Kossacks, In Support of Labor and Unions, Black Kos community, GOTV 2014, Social Security Defenders, and Community Spotlight.

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