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of what’s happened over the last cou- 5. How do we engage voters beyond majority of the economic opportuni- ple of years; health care, because we the presidential election to let them see ties in this country—those folks espe- know that Health Care Reform, if its that it’s bigger than this November? cially, they don’t sleep. Have you ever reversed, will have an adverse impact How do we get them to the polls after heard of that saying, “The enemy nev- on women, and the war on women is that? How can we use this critical elec- er sleeps?” Those who believe in inclu- also impacting black women; of course tion to make them understand that all sion, a lot of times we say, “Okay, we education; workers’ rights, because in elections are critical? won that battle so we can go on to the the attack on workers’ rights, a lot of One of the things that the National next thing.” No, we have to constantly our community is impacted. When it Coalition on Black Civic Participation stay vigilant and continue to bring in comes to the state based attack on our has done with our coalition partners is the ability to build coalitions, cross-cul- workers’ rights, equal pay for women, develop sort of a strategy that looks at tural and cross-racial coalitions. family life balance, those are the is- how do you engage the community and We also have to work with various sues. Another big issue is criminal stay connected year round? The strat- strategies to ensure that young people justice, the stand your ground law that egy is to look at our unity model and are always there at the table with new impacted the possibility of Trayvon we know that fi ideas and opportunities to learn from rst you have to build a Martin being killed the way he was. strong coalition itself…Then, we look seasoned leaders, the ability to work So, why is 2012 important and at the issues that are critical to our inter-generationally is critical, so all what can we do about it? Those laws, community. We work on what we need of our coalitions always have a youth the Stand Your Ground law, were to say about why you need to vote, but component to them. We always, in all passed by state legislatures. So, we we have to continue to be able to work of our sororities and a lot of our other know what’s at stake with the Presi- on those issues in the cycle behind civic and social justice organizations, we have to make sure that that’s not “We really have to educate and the work over here.like an add-on, but that it is intrinsi-cally a part of it…So, that’s how we do engage our communities to 6. There has been a push in many states be aware.” disproportionately impact minorityto increase Voter ID requirements. Doyou feel that these requirements will communities? dential Election, but also, there are 49 that…Our theme is “2012-2020.”We Unfortunately, yes. The Lawyers of the 50 states that have state legis- have to stop looking at it from election Committee for Civil Rights Under Law lative races and in the South, where to election, where we just get together state that 40 states have introduced 55% of black people reside,9 of the 10 every other year. No. we need to be voter ID laws. Also, 25 percent of the Southern states have state legislative getting together looking at a 10 year black voters lack proper ID and the races. So, if we want to do something strategy—this is the fi 25 million people who voted in 2008, rst time we’ve about Stand Your Ground, or Stop and attempted this since I’ve been at this lack current ID requirements. That’s Frisk in New York, and these other re- organization…The next time that the a lot of people. Another good source pressive criminal justice laws that ad- opportunity to impact redistricting is is the Brennan Center for Justice out versely impact our community—Black 2020, after the Census…So, we’re pre- of New York. They talk about the fact and Latino, especially those that are paring for that and every election that that senior citizens will be challenged most impacted by these laws—then happens between now and 2020, we as well because of birth certifi cate re- we have to pay attention to the state have to look strategically back at that quirements. elections happening as well. Many and work on the issues so that conven- Cathy Cohen, the researcher out times in presidential elections people ing strong coalition issues campaigns of Chicago with The Black Youth Proj- say that we only need to focus on the will actually continue to develop long ect, did an analysis and she said two battle ground states, well every state is term voter engagement. possible consequences for voter ID a battle ground if you live in it! And so that is the model that will laws include voter turnout among Af- We really have to educate and help us strategically fi rican-Americans may be signifi cantly ght back. So that engage our communities to be aware. we can start winning on some of the reduced, talking about that 25%, but Don’t just stop at the top of the ticket! issues moving forward, we have to also the ID rate of new voter ID laws You need to pay attention to who is be- know that progress happens over time may dilute the infl uence of the Black ing elected in your state legislature on and that we need to think strategically. vote and could shift, and this is criti- down to local races. All of this is inter- People who put together strategies to cal, election outcomes in competitive connected. So, that’s part of what we ensure that folks are excluded, so that races. Sometimes races are won by a really see as critical. there is a minority of folks who get a small majority. You can kick off 200 74 ▲ DELTA SIGMA THETA SORORITY, INC.


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