It’s Amazing The Good People Can Do When Their Voting Rights Are Restored
Republican gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie ran a nasty, divisive campaign in the commonwealth of VA. In the end, “Trumpification” didn’t help him. Ralph Northam is the new governor elect of VA.
It’s worth noting, thousands of former felons were allowed to cast their vote for the first time in this election. Business Insider estimates over 6 million people were unable to vote in the 2016 general election because they had a previous felony conviction. Twelve states—Alabama, Arizona, Delaware, Florida, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, Tennessee, Virginia and Wyoming—restrict voting rights even after a person has completed all terms of their prison sentence including probation and parole.
This issue affects black Americans more than any other group. Nationally, African Americans are four times more likely to lose their voting rights, according to the Sentencing Project. Over 2 million black people, or 1 out of every 13 black adults, are prohibited from voting, compared with 1 out of every 56 non-black Americans.
To date, organizers all across America have recently launched efforts to help these previously convicted citizens regain their constitutionally guaranteed right to vote. I’m proud to say, I’ve been a part of the Second Chance Initiative in FL the last couple of months. It took a Trump presidency to finally move me to act. The thought of a second term and/or another clown just like Trump in our White House will be enough to keep me active until the day I die. Since last year I’ve donated to the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, a few campaigns for Democratic candidates, Equality Florida, Take Stock in Children, Doctors Without Borders… I’ve always voted in every single election but I admit I could have done more to serve my community, consistently at least. I will continue my petitioning until the end of the year. We must get over a million petitions in Florida and although the current numbers are encouraging, we’re taking nothing for granted nor leaving anything to chance. I’m encouraging others to get active and stay active in the fight for civil rights and equality, especially African-Americans. Our history requires it. The struggle for civil rights is a marathon not a 50 yard dash. We have to get energized and remain that way.
I’m encouraged by the enthusiasm of my leaders and peers in this Second Chance Initiative. I’m touched by the thanks I get from Floridian who currently can’t vote but are appreciative of my efforts to fight for their right to.
“Service is the rent we pay for being. It is the very purpose of life, and not something you do in your spare time”—Marian Wright Edelman