Page 6

SummerJournal2013

Changing the Rules of the Game: The Congressional Black Caucus Addresses the Threat to Voting Rights During the Annual Legislative Conference Recent legislation attempting to enact voter ID laws and other methods to suppress the vote in the anticipated 2012 general election were the hot topic during the Congressional Black Caucus’ 42nd Annual Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C., Sept. 19-22, 2012. Maintaining the conference’s overall theme, “Inspiring Leaders, Building Generations,” the National Town Hall meeting on Sept. 20 hoped to reignite the passion for justice and inspire advocacy in the hearts of today’s leaders with the same vigor reminiscent of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. The theme for the non-partisan meeting, “Voting Rights & New Age Discrimination” sparked a partly heated discussion on the necessity or possible racial implications of newly imposed identification requirements at the polls. Dr. Marc Hill, CNN commentator and host of “Our World Black Enterprise,” moderated the panel consisting of: Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.); Rep. Mel Watt (D-N.C.); Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio), also the 21st National President of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority; Donna Brazile, CNN political strategist; Rev. Al Sharpton, founder of National Action Network; Crystal Wright, conservative columnist; and Ron Christie, founding president of Christie Strategies and Republican political strategist. The panel also took questions from voters participating in the meeting remotely via “Google hangouts” located in Austin, Chicago, Atlanta, New York and Pittsburgh. Rep. Emmanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.), CBC chairman, announced voter initiatives s DELTA SIGMA THETA SORORITY, INC. across the country attempting to energize voters to get out and vote and understand the impact their participation in or absence from the 2012 electoral process will have on the future of African-Americans across the country. “I get so angry at any African- American who refuses to vote,” said Cleaver in his welcome remarks, after recalling the struggles African-Americans experienced, such as having to pay poll taxes and pass literacy tests in order to vote in the early part of the 20th century. “It is an insult to the people who brought us to where we are right now. There would be no Black Caucus but for the black men and women who fought and died so that we might have an opportunity to gather here in Washington.” By Bernadine Williams Stallings Panelists discuss voting rights and voter suppression during the National Town Hall Meeting during the Congressional Black Caucus’ Annual Legislative conference. PICTURED (LEFT TO RIGHT): Ron Christie, founding president of Christie Strategies; Crystal Wright, conservative columnist; Rev. Al Sharpton, founder of the National Action Network; Donna Brazile, CNN political strategist; Rep. Mel Watt; Rep. John Lewis; Rep. Marcia Fudge, 21st National President of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority; and Dr. Marc Hill, CNN commentator and host of Our World Black Enterprise. PHOTO COURTESY OF CONGRESIONAL BLACK CAUCAS FOUNDATIO N


SummerJournal2013
To see the actual publication please follow the link above